Can Social Media Make You Depressed?

Published on 06/15/2016

Feelings of disconnection.

Social media websites like Facebook are great in a vacuum. The easy to use interface allows you to keep up to date on literally everything your friends and loved ones choose to share with you. You can watch in real time as your loved ones grow up, get married, go on adventures, and even fall in love. however, seeing all of these activities occur from the surface of your screen can lead to feelings of disconnection. Dr. Paula Durlofsky, of MainLine Today, suggests that users engage in more ‘intimate digital interaction’ if they are feeling disconnection, such as private messages or even texts.

A need for validation.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a psychologist and his studies showed that social media websites work off of our innate craving for some sort of positive attention. Think about it like this: Why would Facebook implement the ‘like button’ unless it was in order to fulfill some deeper craving that we have. The button itself is functionally useless. A student at VCU admitted to deleting his Facebook posts if they don’t get enough attention because he doesn’t feel validated in what he posted. The student went on to explain that he would get ‘excited’ whenever he received a notification, such as a like or comment. His heart would race and he would see his mood pick up for a momentary boosted high. We are humans and we want to be loved and given attention. When we don’t get that validation then we feel lousy.

A need for validation