For this week's blog, we will investigate the dangers of social media, and how these impact on our mental health.
According to the NHS, there has been a 70% increase in anxiety and depression since 2004, around the time Facebook came on the scene. Social media presents a number of dangerous habits such as self-comparison and self-criticism, which leads to feeling not good enough.
The purpose of Instagram, is to project the ‘perfect photo’. However, the danger with Instagram is that it crops out the mess, the bits that you don’t want anyone to see. However, the real danger is when someone who sees that photo, assumes that there is no imperfection resulting in them self-comparing and criticizing their ‘mess’. Leaving us wishing for a life that simply does not exist. Which poses the question, why do we feel that the messiness should be cropped out?
Social media is a visual lie of 'Chinese whispers'. As each person see’s the perfect photo, that lie is then projected into their life, making them feel not good enough, which then makes feel the need to project their ‘perfect life’ even more, which then the next person will see and have to outdo. This constant need to project perfection and seek those ‘likes’ as reassurance is draining away our self-esteem, and happiness as a result. Before we know it we’re in a dangerous domino effect which leaves behind a trail of people feeling empty and not good enough.
As an experiment, we looked at what is ‘social media worthy’. This is what my desk should look like…
And this is what my desk actually looks like…
See the difference? A hardworking desk is messy, full of paperwork, stationary everywhere, it is completely unattainable to keep my desk with merely a pretty clipboard and a quirky travel mug. In conclusion, people will look at their own desks (or live’s) and criticize themselves that its 'messy’ when in reality, real life is found in the mess, not in the misconception of ‘perfection’.