I love Facebook. It’s a great way to keep up with family and friends, express myself–and yes, find videos of cute animals. Send me any clip of pandas or penguins, and I WILL watch it.
Like many others, I probably spend more time on Facebook than I should. But when my depression really kicks up, I tend to limit my Facebook exposure. Now, there’s a new study out that lets me know this is probably a good thing. Let’s face it–most people share only good things about their lives on Facebook. The fabulous European vacation. That delicious meal from the hottest restaurant in town. You get the idea. According to the study, seeing too much of this can lead to envy or jealousy. And that combo can get you even more depressed.
I understand this. If I’m facing a day when even getting out of bed is an effort, I don’t want to see pictures of a friend’s rock climbing trip. I have to save that for when I feel better. On the flip side, I will occasionally post things items related to mental illness on Facebook. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a few responses. But it won’t come anywhere near the responses I get when I post about our recent snowstorm. From my experience, people would much rather talk about the weather on Facebook than talk about difficult subjects.
No doubt about it; when I’m depressed, I need to spend less time on Facebook and more time talking to real live people.
You can read an article about the study in today’s Huffington Post.