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How to Prevent Facebook Depression?

Updated on September 8, 2013
Is Facebook Making You Depressed?
Is Facebook Making You Depressed? | Source

What is Facebook Depression?

Facebook offers one of the best opportunities to network with friends, family, and peers. It gives you a chance to reconnect with loved ones, or share special moments with those who matter most. But, it can also make you feel terrible about your very imperfect life. Everyone seems to have it all together, while your life seems to continuously spiral into nothingness. This can be referred to as Facebook Depression. You actually feel much worse after going onto the social media site.

Does seeing your Facebook friend's status frustrates you and make you depressed?

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Social Media: The Final Frontier

Facebook was a genius invention. It ranks up there with electricity, the printing press, birth control pills, sliced bread, and iPods. In today’s society, and especially among the young’uns, it is difficult to imagine a world where you couldn’t navigate life without status updates, LOL’s, and “Liked” posts.

The great thing about Facebook is that it brings people together. It makes it possible to reconnect with an ex whose contact info was “accidentally” erased following your break up. Barring the occasional stalking incident, Facebook does serve a purpose as a major source of networking between family, friends, co-workers, and classmates. But, it can also lead to Facebook depression.

Facebook depression is a new phenomenon that is just now receiving research and study from the science types. After all, there was no such thing in the psychology community a decade ago.

A study recently published in the Public Library of Science by two smarty pants showed that people who use Facebook on a regular basis are less satisfied with life. And who can blame the social masses? That recently friended former classmate with the new promotion can’t shut the hell up about it. Meanwhile, you’re contemplating a series of very bad decisions because you’ve actually been demoted over the last few years due to budget cutbacks and layoffs at work. Little do you know that the same classmate is miserably single since his last girlfriend pulled the plug, citing erectile dysfunction as the cause of the dissolution. No wonder he’s making it rain at the strip club every week.

When it comes to Facebook, you must put the social media facade into perspective.

Here's a breakdown of Facebook types, and ways to deal with these “Perfect” people to prevent Facebook depression.

Did You Know?

Half of Facebook's active users log on to Facebook on any given day; 35 million users update their statuses each day.

Perfect Mate

It’s your sister’s one year anniversary, and she’s shouting proclamations of love and adoration for your brother-in-law from the Facebook rooftops. While you’re happy that your sibling is enjoying the commemoration of her fledgling marriage, you can’t help but wonder how she went from an enraged harpy to a gushing wifey. Just the other day, sissy poo was bitching about how her husband consistently forgot to let the toilet seat down. She also complained about stained underwear being left on the bedroom floor, and the mysterious disappearances of her favorite chocolate cupcakes. Your brother-in-law is far from perfect. And at this point, you’d kindly like to punch him for causing your favorite (only) sister so much stress.

The truth is that no relationship is perfect. Behind those big smiles are the realities that actually represent how things really are. In most cases, those Facebook friends are letting you know that they’ve managed to focus on all the good things in their committed relationship. They’ve got happiness, even if it is short-changed by a marathon of The Walking Dead TV series. So, your sister is just using you as a sounding board to vent all the frustrations related to her main man. But of course, she’s totally hoping you’ll punch him if the situation necessitates such action.

Yeah! All your Facebook friends knows you love each other, alright!
Yeah! All your Facebook friends knows you love each other, alright! | Source
Just because your Facebook friend brag about his kid winning a trophy at school, it doesn't mean he's kid is perfect.
Just because your Facebook friend brag about his kid winning a trophy at school, it doesn't mean he's kid is perfect. | Source

Perfect Kids

You feel nauseous every time your Facebook buddy posts an adorable pic of his snotty-faced kids (they’re not even all that cute). But, little Johnny scored the winning touchdown to the championship game. And little Suzie divides her time between ballet, community service, science club, and synchronized swim team. Oh, and did you hear that she was the youngest person ever to be invited to space camp? These kids seem to be the most awesome progeny in the universe. All their accomplishments look pretty cool compared to your non-existent and/or mediocre spawn. Yet, most parents will agree that parenthood is one of the suckiest jobs in existence. Farm mules get more respect.

So while little Johnny is being primed to join the NFL one day, he constantly misbehaves at school. Little Suzie hates eating vegetables. Suddenly, your slightly overweight son Mikey, who can’t run a quarter of a mile or do math homework without using his fingers, doesn’t seem so bad. He is a well-behaved, broccoli and cheese consuming powerhouse. When you say that no one leaves the table without eating all his lima beans, he’s the first one to clean the plate (But why, for the love of God, would you serve lima beans?).

Perfect Pets

Some people take things to the next level by showcasing their love for children of the fuzzy kind. Their Facebook photo album is inundated with Halloween pics of their furry friend in some tragic costume. Billy bulldog’s face looks more like, “Help me,” than, “Heeeeeeeey, me.” Pet parents should love their other species offspring. But, treating these lesser animals like actual children is . . . cray cray. Just remember that your pet Fifi has given you the side eye anytime you tried to outfit her in sweaters. And, she’s more content licking your stinky toes than walking around the neighborhood on All Hollow’s Eve costume to collect sustenance that is potentially deadly.

Just know that these folks who constantly brag about their pets are reaching for some relevance that has eluded them within human civilization. No one puts Baby in a corner. But if Baby has a habit of humping strange legs, she really needs to be kenneled in a corner with lots of timeout without the velour tracksuit purchased on sale at Pet Smart.

Grumpy cat "I hate my boss"
Grumpy cat "I hate my boss" | Source

Perfect Career

It’s sickening, those people who consistently post a blow-by-blow of their work day. No wonder your Facebook friends get job satisfaction. They’re such diligent employees, right? Wrong!

150,000 US workers were surveyed by the analytical giant Gallup. According to the results of the 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, 52% of those surveyed weren’t thrilled about their jobs. 18% would rather get run over by a train than be at work. That survey also found that the free cereal bar your friend can’t shut up about doesn’t make up for workers being bored to death by mundane tasks, or having to hoard those vacation days (because Steve always messes everything up when you’re gone).

If someone’s Facebook posts are making you sob uncontrollably about your own career choices, chances are that you hated your job well before that. Having a wage paying gig is definitely a necessity in life. But, there are things you can do to improve the situation.

First, figure out what you love to do. If it is something artsy fartsy like graphic design, you could use sites like oDesk to become a part-time freelancer. This might lead to an eventual career change into something you don’t loathe. Next, talk to your supervisor about any feelings of underemployment. He or she may not realize that you’re not being utilized to the fullest. There could be a need for your specialized knowledge or skills that the employer simply wasn’t aware of. Then, look at ways to add to your current education level by going back to school.

Some employers actually offer tuition reimbursement, or access to online continuing education courses as perks. An advanced degree might be just what you need to qualify for better jobs at your company. And finally, look for another job. Sure, you’ve invested a bunch of years with your organization. But, that retirement pension won’t be much fun if you’re angrily recounting all the years you hated your job to the grandkids (who now all need therapy because of your constant negative attitude. Thanks, Grandpa). Only a handful of people actually go to bed totally psyched about their job. This likely includes moguls like Oprah, who probably sleeps in a California king-sized bed literally made of thousand dollar bills.

Not sure if I hate my job...
Not sure if I hate my job... | Source
This is what your facebook friend thinks all the time...
This is what your facebook friend thinks all the time... | Source

Perfect Appearance

That ugly duckling from high school has turned into a smoking hot swan. She’s always posting photos of herself in workout gear, accompanied with an update that reads, “Gym mode.” When your alum isn’t showing off her toned and tight body, she’s making sure there are plenty of pics of her looking fabulous while posing in her bedroom mirror. Meanwhile, you’ve used up yet another bottle of canola oil greasing up those plump thighs, creating a coat slick enough to slide on a pair of slightly undersized blue jeans. You. Hate. Her.

Let’s face it. This Megan Fox wannabe has some self-esteem issues if she’s constantly fishing for “Likes” all the time. There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy dose of confidence. And, seeing someone who’s been able to overcome obstacles (like ugliness) to achieve an attractive appearance can help motivate you to hit the gym more. But, it is completely unnecessary to hog the mirrors at aerobic centers just to take a full-length pic of yourself every single time you’re there. Nor, does it require that each wardrobe change receive a series of Instagram photos that are definitely screaming, “Look at me again.”

Your friends and family love you just the way you are, fat thighs and all. And when it comes time for the next class reunion, why don’t you bring up all those awkward status updates she posted ranting about her cheating ex-husband who left her for a plain, pleasantly plump woman.

Here's a Video If You Want to Feel Sexy

Make Lemonade

There’s nothing wrong with scrolling down your Facebook news feed to see how all your “friends” are doing. But to prevent Facebook depression, don’t get caught up in the perfectly crafted lives being shown on social media. No one is perfect. If life has you down, get off that electronic device and do something you’ll enjoy. Read a book, take an art class, do a Zumba workout, or catch up with real friends at that nice wine bar in your neighborhood. In other words, turn those virtual lemons into lemonade.

Meet and catch up with friends on real life.
Meet and catch up with friends on real life. | Source

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    • profile image

      Dwayne E Stanelli 3 years ago

      ...nice read; there is so much truth to this...

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Thank you Dwayne :)

    • toptengamer profile image

      Brandon Hart 3 years ago from The Game

      I think another problem is people revert back to a HS type status when they go to FB.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      These are so many of the reasons why I have virtually checked out of FB. In addition, the requests for money to support people's favorite causes. Too many hands out, sorry.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I like your unique, humorous approach because things get a bit dry here on the hub sometimes. I shunned FB until I began using it as a tool to promote my writing. Now I thoroughly enjoy it, and I am willing to die for all my sham FB buddies. The only time I get FB depression is when someone unfriends me, and then I want to track them down and beat them up. Kidding of course. Great hub!

    • golive profile image

      Vee Wilson 3 years ago from Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles

      I took my first real break from FB. I stayed off of FB starting last Tuesday at midnight. My life has been more productive and I am happier. It is depressing seeing people doing this and that while you're at home doing noting but surfing FB living vicariously through other people. I had to get up and do something. Today is my first day back on any form of social media platform.

    • golive profile image

      Vee Wilson 3 years ago from Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles

      This was a great article, I will re-post this for sure as soon as I get back on FB...

    • Atz profile image

      Athul M R 3 years ago from Calicut, Kerala, INDIA

      Just tweeted it , few of my friends are having this facebook complex, addiction to facebook. All they care about is their virtual world. I'm sure this post will be a great help for them

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      hyp,

      Fantastic piece of work. Great research and you did this subject professionally and very tasteful.

      I will tell you the truth. I think that this is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing work.

      I loved the way you presented your topic. Wonderful graphics.

      This piece was helpful, informative and very interesting.I was glad to vote Up and all of the choices.

      You are certainly a gifted writer. Please keep up the fine work.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

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