Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+, social media apps have taken over our phones. Every ding, bop, bleep bloop r2d2 twang skiddly doo, *sweet acoustic melodies*, accompany the notification bubble telling you who sent the candy crush invite this time. That’s what it can be sometimes, right? just utter nonsense, lost in a candy-filled world that you can’t eat. Other times it’s about birthdays, relationships, networking, fun memories, and pictures with friends. Just one thing, how does a person with depression interact with social media?
Taken from an article at Convinceandconvert.com, in 2012, 81% of teens, 80% of 18-24 year olds, and 68% of 25-34 year olds have some form of social media account. This evidence is only to show that people close to my age, we use social media. Roughly 25%, or 1/4 of us check our apps 4-5 times a day. Guilty as charged right here.
But let’s talk about how this evidence affects our relationships. Is Social Media a big bad drug that the government is going to spend trillions of dollars on fighting a war and get nowhere? Wait, I’m sorry. Let’s back up a bit. Social Media is nowhere near the equal to hard drugs that destroy people’s lives. Please don’t make that comparison, because you’ll just look stupid. And I know you to be smarter than that, so don’t.
Anywho, most people can relate to a slight caffeine addiction. Maybe you can’t go without your morning coffee. I do believe that is in our genes. Either we crave coffee or we don’t. Honestly, I feel bad to all that have not converted to our Lord and Savior, the Dew. There have been a lot of factions, Code Red, White Out, but I stay true to the Green, the original Dew. All Hail the Dew… I may or may not be drinking one as we speak *sips the green nectar from the gods*. My point is that caffeine is just like social media. We can become addicted to using it. Now caffeine messes with your energy, spike and crash, and too much can actually affect your muscles. I mean, I heard that from a friend, I swear. Social Media can mess with your energy, and too much can affect your muscles. Fingers can get tired quick. And you don’t realize how long you’ve been sitting until you stand up.
What is the key thing to both of these that spill into the rest of our lives? Stimulation. Every sip of coffee and every notification that pings on your phone is a stimulant. The more you experience it, the stronger the habit forms in your mind creating a need-based desire to instant gratification.
When I was younger, I had this thing called Developmental Coordination Disorder. It happens in about 5-6% of kids. Now, I never really knew that. My knowledge was only of staying after school for speech class. My brain, then and now, has a delayed processing. It is not a ‘certifiable’ disorder, meaning not equivalent to more debilitating disorders, but it is real. And it is of great importance for me to know. So I already had a delay in my development as a kid, then a number of social factors which I won’t get into yet. Maybe later, if you buy me a beer, or mountain dew.
Relationships, friend and otherwise, have always been a struggle for me. I can sense things about people, but it is one of the hardest things for me to sit there in the unknown. I don’t know what a best friend looks like. I don’t know what message someone is trying to give me through normal social cues that I never cared to learn. If I want someone to know something, I tell them. Games are for players and I don’t treat my relationships as a game, even acquaintances.
How does a person with depression/anxiety interact with social media? Well, such a person is anxious, so facebook is a delightful stimulant, watching everyone comment on everything you liked, loved, or haha’d at. Instagram and Snapchat are visual stimulants. Seeing people that we know and care about with a smile on their face fills us with happy thoughts; it makes us wish we were there with them.
For me, in the past, facebook has created ‘connection’ without ‘real connection’. What is a real human connection? How do I know I’m not just imagining a connection? I hate to admit that I’ve done that– imagined something out of nothing. In the unknown, fear and doubt make their home. In that fear and doubt, we can create something out of nothing, something worse than what we want.
It’s a fight. Two sides war with each other like old, bitter kings: Fear and Doubt. They fight for you. You are their prize to consume. It is constant. Yet, we can win. To use an old biblical phrase, “Turn the other cheek”. Do not engage. Choose to let Hope be your ally, let it guide your actions, your dreams. Live in Hope when the unknown visits. Fear and Doubt will fade.
Use social media to have fun, keep in touch, and meet new people. I love seeing pictures on Instagram, especially scenery and my celeb crush Demi Lovato (So Beautiful, it hurts!) *sips more mountain dew*. I love getting snapchats from my friends, because it’s often stuff I never see from them in person. Do not be afraid, post on facebook, share your life. Because it is your life to tell other people about, except maybe brushing your teeth. I mean, I’m glad you care about your oral hygiene. But I don’t need to know every minute of your life, unless it includes mountain dew or donuts. Post pictures, videos, vlogs, share stories, listen to other’s stories, connect! Then, go out and meet them. Don’t stay locked up in your basement (he says as he is writing this from his Parent’s basement). Be your wacky, goofy, sing-in-the-shower self. Be more than just one thing.
Thanks for reading,