Don’t read too deep into what people tweet or else you will be depressed because no one tweets their flaws, insecurities and failures.
Let’s Give A Little Backgrounder: The truth is, there is always going to be someone richer, smarter, better looking and more intelligent than us at some point in our lives – but we certainly can’t and shouldn’t focus so much on what we don’t have, but rather appreciate what we do have. News Flash: Tweets, TwitPics, Facebook Statuses, and Instagram Posts can make you depressed and unhappy. How? Let’s find out.
Some Stats Won’t Hurt: Social media is taking over our lives and let’s face it, it is interesting. We are in a dispensation whereby we receive more information and more data more than our minds can consume. There are about 55 million Facebook Statuses every day, 58 million tweets per day, and about 40 million posts on instagram per day – this ladies and gentlemen is crazy especially compared to what we had or did not have about 2–5 year ago. Yes, we are in a technological age, but as you can see, this age is being dominated by big data. On Facebook alone, 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month and this includes web links, new stories, posts, notes, photos etc.
Now The Real Meat: Through out all the data we receive from our Social Network contacts, how many of them are negative information? Not so much. It is natural for humans to talk about the positive things in their lives rather than speak of the negatives. Of course there are always the “debbie-downers” who will constantly bore you with their issues and problems on social media, but the platform is usually dominated by people sharing their success stories, accomplishments and their wonderful love life. For example, you will see some people post their Grade Point Averages online when its very good, you will never catch anyone tweeting about a 1.2 GPA. During this time of year, a lot of students are going to be receiving acceptance letters to their Master’s Programs or Universities of their choice and best believe about 80% of them will use Social Media to broadcast this good news. Do you think someone who got denied by the college of their choice will post that image on instagram or tweet about it? Definitely not. Finally, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and the lovers will come out and share their “love stories” with the rest of the world. I don’t think anyone will be quickly to come out and say “yaaaay!! My partner cheated on me and broke my heart, so let’s celebrate that”. My point is, we we all yearn to be respected, accepted and appreciated and some way, somehow, we believe that allowing the rest of the world to know of our accomplishments and our successes, we are going to be respected, accepted and appreciated. There is nothing wrong with that, but it becomes a problem if that becomes the only avenue of our sanity. It is simply in human nature to want to share good news and keep the not-so good news to ourselves and social media gives us the platform to be heard and seen. Once again there is nothing wrong with this, but I am afraid for this generation because our value seems to be limited to ‘Likes’, ‘Retweets’ and ‘Favorites’ – this is a different topic all together.
Let’s Drive This Baby Home: Only an evil heart will hate on the success and elevation of others, so it is good to be happy for your friends and followers on social media and join in the celebration – but “do not get caught up”. What do I mean by “do not get caught up”? We naturally tend to lose track of what we are supposed to be doing when we focus so much on what others have done. We tend to allow their success and triumph be a burden on us forgetting that they are also struggling with something. Sometimes when we look at the success of others, we only see the glory but forget about their struggles and pain; I am not blaming anyone, because most of the time, they forget to mention their struggles, their problems, issues and weaknesses. We sometimes go the extra mile of hating our own existence and lose track of what we can accomplish if only we learn from their success and focus on achieving our goals and writing our own stories.
Now Let’s Park This Baby: Focusing so much on what your friends and followers say online can make you depressed especially if you are not living up their standard of living – it might make you feel, for lack of a better word , “useless”. You might think everything is perfect in their world, forgetting that we all live in this world and we all face some setbacks, challenges and difficulties. Simply do not read too deep into tweets, facebook statues and instagram posts and continue to live the life you have been blessed with. Acknowledge their accomplishments but never let them make you feel inadequate – if anything, let it motivate you to accomplish YOUR OWN goals and YOUR OWN dreams.