Facebook makes me sad - PRACTICAL steps on how to deal with it.
- 1 Lets get to the main reason why looking at Facebook makes you sad
- 2 The simplest and easiest quick fix to dealing with depression caused by Facebook
- 3 Two of the most powerful techniques on how to deal with depression that is caused by Facebook
Lets get to the main reason why looking at Facebook makes you sad
Facebook makes me sad sometimes. Wouldn’t you agree that Facebook can be a real emotional roller-coaster?
You sit down, perfectly happy about your day start scrolling through the feed and BAM, you see that your old time school friend has went to a vacation with his good looking girlfriend, and they have pictures that looks like they’ve been taken in paradise.
You think to yourself: “Man, I wish I had that good looking girlfriend and could afford to go to exotic places. I guess I’m not that lucky and life has dealt me a bad hand”
But this doesn’t completely ruin your day; it just drops your mood a little.
You continue to scroll… and see that people are having a great time, you see all those people partying, going out, visiting nice places etc. And all of them look super happy.
This slowly builds up and you start feeling worse and worse until you come to a conclusion that your life sucks and that you’re not a worthwhile person.
Before we actually look at why Facebook makes you sad, let’s look at it from a different point of view.
Have you ever taken a few pictures and then before posting them on Facebook, picked out the best one?
I would bet a 100$ that you have.
Have you ever went on a vacation or even went out and it turned out not so good because you had an argument with your friends? And still taken a few good pictures and posted them on Facebook where it looks like you’re having a great time.
I would also bet 100$ that you have.
I’m too guilty of this, for example, I went on a trip to Bulgaria few years ago. But due to circumstances I was forced to stay in my hotel room for most of the time. I did manage to go hiking in the mountains for a day and it was great, but before that I spent a week in my hotel room.
Now would you call that a great success?
I still managed to take a few good snaps from that one day in the mountains and posted that on Facebook, therefore most of the people that saw it came to a conclusion that I had a great trip in Bulgaria, I never mentioned that I spent most of my days in the hotel room.
The same thing goes for your friends, they probably post only the best pictures and carefully craft their profiles to make it look that they are living the best life imaginable.
Even when you see a rich guy on the street, you probably assume that he is living the dream, but the thing is, you can only see the surface. Maybe he is in crippling debt or he is a workaholic and his wife has filed a divorce because of that and taken away his children and he has slipped into deep depression.
Would you like to be in his place? I highly doubt it!
You see, it is not Facebook that makes you sad, it is your distorted thoughts that make you feel bad.
To be specific it is either your love addiction or achievement addiction. *Take a look at those articles if you want to see a more in-depth information on how to deal with those addictions*
You might be saying, that is all nice, but Facebook still makes me feel sad.
The simplest and easiest quick fix to dealing with depression caused by Facebook
The most immediate solution would be just to unfollow all of your friends and you won’t see any of that.
I’ve done this as a productivity thing, because I get sucked into mindlessly consuming the content. But you can do it for the purpose of feeling better. This way you don’t have to think about deleting your Facebook and you can keep all of your connections with your friends.
But this will just relieve you from the symptoms, but won’t help you cure the source of the problem.
There is a task that you should train yourself to do every time when a critical voice comes into your head.
Two of the most powerful techniques on how to deal with depression that is caused by Facebook
Talk back to your inner critic.
A common response I usually get when I suggest this: “To what am I going to talk back? I just know that I feel bad, that is all”
This shows that you’re not in contact with your own feelings. Some mindfulness techniques might help, but that is a different can of worms.
A simple solution is just to ask yourself - “Why do I feel bad? What is exactly the emotion that I’m feeling and what causes it?”
At first it might be hard to come up with an answer if you’re not used to analyzing your feelings, but it will get easier with time.
You will come up with answers like: “She/He has a better looking girlfriend/boyfriend”, “I can’t travel anywhere, that makes me a second-grade person”, “I make a lot less money, therefore I’m inferior”, “I never have great time like they do”, “Nothing fun ever happens in my life”.
I could continue with responses like this all day.
Now, take your automatic thought and talk back to it!
“Nothing fun ever happens in my life.” – Saying that nothing fun ever happens in my life is nonsense. Although recently I’ve been sitting at home I’ve had fun before playing video games or watching a movie in cinema. I’ve had loads of fun.
“I make a lot less money, therefore I’m inferior” – How does money measure the worth of a person? Hitler had all the money and power a man could ask for, but he was a terrible person. I can still help people in other ways and I can have fun without money. Although more money would never hurt, it is not scale to measure ones worth.
Continue with your own thoughts. You will be surprised by the results that you will get when doing this task for a couple of days to every bad thought that you have.
There is only one rule to this – you MUST believe what you’ve written down. At first you won’t really believe anything 100%, but you must feel that it makes sense and is true in some way.
A common response after this task - well I can talk back to my thoughts, but I can’t have as much fun as they are having.
Finding the pleasure in simple things
Are you sure?
We often forget about life’s simple pleasures. What is the difference between the exciting and fun feeling when you’re dancing to a great beat, naked, alone at home or partying out with friends?
None, the fun is still there, it only starts to feel less when you tell yourself that it is not the same thing.
I want you to write down times when you’ve had fun with life’s simple pleasures, like listening to music, watching a movie, cooking a meal, walking in the woods, roller – skating etc.
And write down times when you’ve had fun on the “high class” activities like traveling, eating at a fancy restaurant, going to a rock concert etc.
And now just think about it, did you have more fun when doing one or the other? The answer probably will be – THE SAME.
You can actually do an experimental approach to this. Try it out.
Make a table with five columns.
Write down activities that you plan to do during the day, write down with whom you plan to do them and then write down the planned satisfaction level for the particular activity. (from 0 – 100%, 0 being the least fun you can have). See a few examples from my personal chart.
|Date||Activity||With whom||Planned satisfaction||Actual satisfaction|
|01.13.2017||Go for a run in the woods||Self||50%||80% - The weather was perfect and I felt great.|
|01.13.2017||Make a fancy dinner for myself while listening to some great music||Self||60%||60% - I burned the meal, but I had a real excuse for ordering some food from the local fast food joint.|
|01.14.2017||Travel to Italy and go sightseeing||Friends||90%||70% - I saw some great places, but I felt sick the whole day and my leg hurt all the time.|
|01.14.2017||Eat at a fancy restaurant.||Self||80%||50% - the food wasn’t that great.|
As you can see I also add little comments in the “Actual satisfaction” column.
This little task helps you to actually see how fun activities are I think I showed this task in the “Love addiction” article as well. In the case of Facebook, it will help you to see that you don’t have to do great things to feel good.
I’m sure this will help you feel way better the next time you log on to Facebook. Do these tasks for a couple of weeks and you will see your satisfaction or life will increase tenfold.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Don’t forget to share it on Facebook, it will definitely help someone out. J