This Holiday Season, Spare Yourself the Blues and Get off Facebook

If you find yourself scrolling through your newsfeed, feeling low – you’ve caught the social media blues.

Published
Health News
2 min read
Have you caught the social media blues? (Photo: iStock)

It’s that time of the year again – your best friend’s going off to a destination wedding, Sharma aunty is boasting about a holiday to Dubai, and friends, colleagues, acquaintances alike are hounding you about New Year’s Eve plans. In other words, it’s the December festive season.

A quiet, uneventful holiday season can be pleasant. But having your Facebook newsfeed flooded with updates of people’s exotic vacations? You could take it or leave it. And you should leave it!

If you find yourself scrolling through your newsfeed, feeling low, then you’ve caught the blues... the social media blues. Facebook is making us unhappy, and lurking on the site, especially around festival time, is making us miserable.

Fear of Missing Out, Anyone?

What one feels while mindlessly scrolling through someone else’s social media stories can be captured in four crisp words – Fear of Missing Out, or what millennials call FOMO.

It’s the nagging feeling of seeing your friends or family having a good time while you’re staring at a computer screen.

(Source: <a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/broad-city-ilana-glazer-fomo-uhsxJFXxEElq">Giphy</a>)
(Source: Giphy)

A University of Copenhagen study finds that excessive use of social media can lead to envy – literally called ‘Facebook Envy’.

One spirals into ‘unrealistic social comparisons’ and ends up feeling worse about oneself. Researchers warn against lurking passively on social media without actually engaging or connecting with anyone.

Seema Hingorrany, a clinical psychologist and author told Daily News Analysis that for people susceptible to harmful social media addiction, depression is triggered by constantly comparing themselves with others, and the need to go on holidays or post photos to seek validation.

So, Get off Facebook and Get a Life

The way to fight your social media blues is simply this – do yourself a favour and go off social media for a week.

The Copenhagen study, that involved 1,095 people, found that the subjects who went off Facebook for a week came back feeling fresh and better about their well-being.

Facebook lurking comes from loneliness. Now, there are activities that one performs alone, and feels positively stimulated by. Absentmindedly scrolling through Facebook without really engaging cannot possibly be one of them.

Social media serves its purpose well when it comes to keeping in touch with someone over a long distance. So when your mom pesters you to help her choose a new display picture, so that her long lost friend could see what she looks like now, it’s sweet.

But let’s not think of social media as a replacement for actual friendships or human connections.

So folks, do you think you can be off Facebook for a week and survive?

(With inputs from DNA, BBC, Mic.com)

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