What the Tech? Social Media Makes Many People Unhappy
It should come as no surprise that according to a new survey, Americans are more unhappy than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.
It’s easy to pinpoint the cause. Pandemic, isolation, job loss and protests that have taken over entire cities. But there’s also a secondary reason that’s related to all of those things. Social media posts and comments about them.
Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed these days, and you’ll probably get angry and might even want to retaliate with your own comments. Negative posts on every side of a news story provoke other hostile comments. Could it be this is why we’re unhappy these days? Mental health experts say, it certainly plays a part.
“People are so at their wits end and stressed and a lack of coping strategies that they’ll take it out on others on social media,” says licensed therapist and counselor Gregory Holley.
He says for the past 3+ months we’ve had no outlets or coping mechanisms to help with stress. We haven’t gathered around a bunch of friends to watch sports, no face-to-face lunches or coffee shop visits. No talking with co-workers in the office. Churches have been closed and no one is inviting someone over to their house for dinner and game nights.
“People had to stay at home and be stripped of those things, and I think those adjustment measures right there on top of stacking on the social economic issues, not having any outlets,” Holley said.
Instead people take to social media where it’s easier and faster to fire off a hot-tempered comment or post about some of the negative and tragic things happening in our country.
“So it goes from a healthy conversation of differences and learning how to agree to disagree, to name calling,” he said.
What’s the answer? What does Holley tell his clients who suffer from stress and anxiety? It’s a simple, yet difficult thing to do for anyone with a fear of missing out on conversations with their friends.
“They’ve had to log off of it. They’ve had to disconnect from it,” Holley said. “To kind of just disconnect and step away and engage in coping strategies such as deep breathing, things you enjoy away from the technology.”
You can stay on social media without getting irate. If a friend is always posting something that irks you, you can unfollow so you don’t see their posts but stay friends. You can also snooze them so you won’t even see their comments to other posts.
Facebook is neither inherently good or bad, it’s how we use it and if people who post nasty things on their newsfeed continue to use it the way they’re doing right now, friendships may be changed or ended forever.