How to cure Facebook depression

This is a reprinted from my email newsletter (subscribe here if you haven’t joined).

The grass is always greener on Facebook, isn’t it? I mean, no one posts “Just polished off my second quart of Chunky Monkey after coming home drunk from another failed date”.

Instead, we only post about the wonderful happenings in our life (and even then, we may embellish).

Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist at the University of Michigan writes that Facebook users get depressed when they see “all the wonderful things their friends are doing”.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t use Facebook? No, but if scanning the news feed makes you feel blue, take a step back and do three things:

  • Remember that most people present a positive version of themselves, not the full spectrum of ups and downs that is the reality of everyone’s life (truth!).
  • Remember that there’s no one in the world like you. Same goes for your friends, which makes you as beautiful as they are. Not more. Not less.
  • Ask yourself what you’re not doing when you’re on Facebook, like having coffee with a friend, or plugging into nature. Facebook is best used to catch up on life’s details, and not as a substitute for love, laughter and friendship.

Comparing yourself to anyone else always leads to suffering. And thinking you’re better than others breeds arrogance.

Instead, close the laptop and put down your smartphone.

John Haydon