[dropcap style=”font-size:100px;color:#992211;”]I[/dropcap]f you look up social media and depression you will find numerous studies building up to and confirming what has been on everyone’s radio and news channels recently. Even Facebook has had to admit that using the app gets you down – scientists have made it impossible for them to deny it!
“Social media encourages social comparison. There have been many studies linking social media to depression. A study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology shows we feel depressed because we’re comparing our own lives to others’ highlight reels,” Steers, M. N., Wickham, R. E., & Acitelli, L. K. (2014). Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms. Retrieved January 18, 2018,
The Good Old Days: Shirts for Goal Posts?
I often raise an eyebrow when I hear people espouse nostalgia for playing out in the street, as if that activity up and down Britain was always wholesome, rosy cheeked fun. This doesn’t mean I think physical activity is bad, just that my memories of playing unsupervised in the street was that it was more like ‘Lord of the Flies’ territory.
I imagine it’s still the case in the playground too and since it’s become taboo to let young people play in the streets, we’ve moved that territory into the home via social media. Now everyone can see what’s going on and how unpopular their children are. It’s much harder to take comfort in the little innocent ones when you know they are suffering horribly and/or sexting one-another.
So whilst feeling sceptical about the good old days, I also recognise that the effects of social media are changing, or have changed self-perception, sexuality, behaviour and friendships.
There is certainly something alarming knowing that the fortification of your own home can be infiltrated by people who take pleasure in making you miserable! We, like the rubber-neckers who can’t resist that car crash, are unable to simply switch it off. Who wouldn’t be tempted to know just how much you’re despised by your peers?
(If you are younger than 18 then please speak to a responsible adult and don’t suffer alone. Seriously, most people like you were also unpopular at school which is somewhere between Carrie and Scum, or maybe Kes (they are old films; google them) if you’re from the north like me.
Reasons to be Cheerful 🙂
Violet Nights: Packaging Reality
Is social media defining our reality with instant filters and editing as you upload?
“While Andreas Gursky’s monumental images exhibit in Hayward Gallery. We invite young people to come and discuss if social media is creating a new packaged reality, in the era of fake news and imagery. Violet Nights is a space for young people to explore different ideas, socialise and experience art.”
Royal Festival Hall.
White Room, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall.
22 Feb 2018.
Approximate run time: 120 mins.
(Run times may vary)
Information taken from the South Bank Centre website.
Michael Eden is an artist and researcher working in London and the south east, his artistic practice is concentrated on painting and he divides his time between this and lecturing in art history and contextual studies.