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Social Media and Your Psyche

There have been many studies focused on the connection between social media and depression, so the new research conducted by Mai-Ly Steers from the University of Houston, is not anything groundbreaking. It more or less reiterates that people who constantly compare their lives to others on Facebook or Instagram, are setting themselves up for depressed feelings.

“If we’re comparing ourselves to our friends’ ‘highlight reels,’ this may lead us to think their lives are better than they actually are and conversely, make us feel worse about our own lives,” said Steers.

However, Steers did find that the amount of time spent on these social media sites does play a large role in overall psychological health. As you can guess, people that spend more time on the sites have increased feelings of depression, while people that only use it on occasion have lower depressed feelings.

I experienced this first had my freshman year in college, when Facebook was first introduced. I, like everybody else on campus, was hooked! While we didn’t have constant access to our pages as we do now with our smart phones, we wouldn’t miss an opportunity to log on and check on the status of the rest of our “friends.”

It seemed like everyone was enjoying the college experience more than I was. What was I doing wrong? Was I the only person actually attending class and completing assignments? It’s easy to let other peoples’ seemingly perfect lives affect your view on your own life. I let Facebook get a hold of me for too long. Once I took a step back, I realized that my life is pretty awesome, too. I just chose not to share it all with the online world.


About Jill Sauser, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator

Jill graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. During her time at UNO, she completed a two year PR practicum program where she worked with numerous nonprofit clients including the MS Society, The Archdiocese of Omaha, The Omaha Food Bank, and YWCA. Since becoming Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation in April 2014, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, the Metro Area LOSS Team, and is helping lead a community-wide mental health improvement initiative with the Douglas County Health Department called, “Just Reach Out.”