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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Facebook depression

A guy who goes by Chris J the genius wrote an article recently asking the question Can Facebook cause depression. Laura brought this to my attention over Spring Break. I have been intrigued by it ever since, and decided to go and look at the article myself.
YES would be my immediate answer to the title question. Why would I say yes? First of all, because I have felt depressed during my occasional-if-not-sometimes-more-frequent-than-I-would-like-to-admit-FB usage. And because several people that I know have had some depressed or injured feelings due to FB as well. And the reasons vary! For most, it's the classic why them and not me sensation. And we're talking anywhere from look at their pictures! They are having so much fun, I wish my life was fun like theirs... to "So and So" hung out with HER? Why wasn't I invited?... to "Dude... she has twice as many friends as I have!" and not to exclude "How did she just get 177 comments? I only get 2 or 3 at the most..."
The article speaks mostly to teens. Which I find interesting. We are struggling with what teenagers struggle with. Always have. Think about it. We all still want to be the "it girl." I still wanna look cute, be liked, raise a family, and stay in shape all at the same time! And facebook is certainly not to blame for our insecurities. But it can definitely exacerbate them.
I knew someone in the not-so-distant past who had to hide friends because of feelings of jealousy and inadequacy due to facebook. I myself have taken breaks, or even avoided looking at certain photos for similar reasons. By the way, blogging is very much the same.
The irony is, many of us want to portray the exact same image that causes us so much grief!! It's almost like, without realizing it, we want other people to experience the same jealousy that we experience! Only, we want them to feel that way about US.
I don't know. Maybe sometimes we just want to remember the good times. I imagine that mostly, our motives for posting adorable or insanely fun pics are innocent... still. It's food for thought.
I have a lot of respect for people who are willing to be real. My sis-in-law Mel is a great example of this. Thanks, M!
If only we could finally learn the lesson that our mothers and youth ministers kept trying to implant into our brains when we were 15: it's only what God thinks that matters!! And if only we would spend more time listening to Him and delaying our gratification for immediate approval... Relationship with God requires stillness. I'm not sure that FB was designed to help keep us still.
Having said this, I like facebook. And I probably will still keep trying to post cute pics. :)
I think like most things in life, it can be used for good or bad. The point is: use it, don't abuse it.

Well, that was a nice little sermonette. OK, so now, I'm going to see if I get any comments. Heehee.


  1. I love you Anna! You just wrote about all my feelings! I often feel this way about everyone's friends or those Bunco nights that I never get invited to or all those trips people take while I sit at home alone every night. The cliques drive me crazy.
    Thanks for expressing my feelings in your words!

  2. Wow, Anna, what interesting thoughts! And how true!!! I've found myself doing some of those exact things and didn't even realize it. And here I thought I was so "grown-up." :-)

    Keep writing...

  3. Yep. This is the real deal, Anna. It resonated with me, too, and has given me much to think about. (Heck, I loved your blog so much I went and "shabby blogged" mine....and then Sarah told me she did the same with hers after she saw mine.... : ) But just acknowledging all this has to diminish its influence, don't you think? Cute is awesome. Authentic is even better. Thanks for writing honestly.

  4. Yes! So true. So interesting the part about wanting other people to experience the same jealousy we experience. Thank you for bringing this "darkness" to light. I love you so much! Mom

  5. Love this, Anna! So true.

    Karen Carpenter



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