Why is there so much depression in youth even though they are well connected with everyone in social media?
Hello. We discussed this very question last month when a boy commited suicide live on Facebook. He actually admitted to the whole world that he was about to end his life as he had not been able to get over his addictions. Long story short he was in depression which led a lot of radio stations and media to question the reason for depression and anxiety amongst the youth. The main reasons spoken about by experts were -
- The youth today lives in a world of editing and comparison. If my picture or check-in isn't better than my friends then my life has no meaning. Their identity depends upon likes and reactions. I remember a joke that cropped up on FB a years ago, it said - "Nobody looks as good as their FB page and as bad as their Passport". Sadly in the need for potraying how much fun I am and how well connected I am, the youth loses the confidence to be themselves.
- The need for love, attachment and belonging are basic needs for all of us. This needs an actual physical connect and not just virtual talks. A lot of young people are bonding with older adults on virtual media with the aim of securing love and companionship as they may not be able to create lasting bonds with their parents (some really feel that once kids grow up they dont need talking to or sharing) & their friends arent well equipped to offer a shoulder as they are equally confused.
- Depression results not only from loneliness but from the feeling of not being good enough and not having enough people in our lives that care. That is exactly what the youth of today is facing thanks to the social media. I remember a student of mine going into depression at 24 because her entire timeline was filled with her friends getting married or into excellent jobs while she was still looking for both. Such is the pressure on the youth today.
So yes social media does expose the youth to as many people as they want to share and talk to but it does not give them people who are available offline, at 3 am to hold their hands and understand their insecurities, make them realise that they are worthy of love and a good life despite not having a smashing timeline or being traditionally beautiful or intelligent.