• Life Coach Bindiya Murgai

Instagram, Social Media and Depression

Updated: Sep 17, 2019


Not every thing has to be a reflection of our mental health...certainly not the aesthetic choices we make! The problem is that too many rookie opinions, and all kind of flimsy research projects, come up every day, showing people more and more ways in which they are/ can/ will/ or should be depressed. Making things worse, are journalists and bloggers, who pick the most sensational lines and concert them in to sensational headlines. These then get read fleeting by an audience with a massively decreasing attention span -- an audience that just laps up the headline and does not skim through the rest. Or worse, readers who believe anything they read on the net, irrespective of the source. and they believe it.

The latest one being that Instagram filters and related algorithms will supposedly help detect depression. That indicates people who like gritty filters, starker tones or even black & white images, may be depressed. By that logic, everyone who is into jarring, over saturated, kitschy filters and colours should be deliriously happy. And if that's true, colour-happy Indians should be the happiest in the world. Instead, according to WHO, in 2016, India was the most depressed country in the world, with almost 34 percent of its population being depressed. So when people let out such attention grabbing headlines, such as how ones Instagram filter determines ones mental health, it is in isolation, not only objectionable and preposterous, but also wildly dangerous. It's this kind of over/mis analysis that's making a whole younger generation confused, misinformed, limited, paranoid...and yes, depressed! Oh, and BTW, it's social media like FB and Instagram that is leading to massive depression, not the the filters people are using there. You can read more about the latest on Instagram filters and depression at https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/instagram-help-diagnose-depression/

Be careful what you read. Check the credibility of the sources, Don't believe the headlines alone. Try to research and form a balanced and well-informed view of your own view. And most importantly, maintain a healthy relationship with your social media and online consumption. Maintain digital hygiene, be wise. Stay happy.

Bindiya

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bindiya.murgai@gmail.com

Ketti, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India