Maya G. --Savedra
Published in

Maya G. --Savedra

The Validation Machine

Every now and then, the discussion around social media and mental health creeps into the public discourse. I never paid much attention to that conversation. It didn’t seem to affect me that way it seemed to affect others, so I went on merrily scrolling.

But over quarantine, I started to become affected. I found myself constantly looking on social media and more anxious around checking my notifications. Even though we were in the middle of a pandemic that halted all activity, I found myself comparing what I was doing to what others on social media seemed to be doing, and I felt inadequate.

I began pulling back from my social media usage and as a result, I don’t spend too much time on social media, or on my phone in general anymore. Even with this in mind however, I still spend a good chunk of time every week on my phone, namely, on Facebook.

I fell right into Facebook’s trap. Despite what I know about Facebook’s data collection, and despite how I feel about Mark Zukerberg, I still enjoy using Facebook. I like it so much in fact, it occupies about half the time I spend on my phone. So what is it that keeps drawing me to the platform?

According to Healthline, one reason may be because of the positive affirmations Facebook can offer. When we share content, our followers will not only like it, but probably comment on it or share it as well.

We like the feeling of being liked, of people agreeing with what we have to say. This is true especially in the case of Facebook, where users have the ability to type long, wordy posts, and where most followers are family and friends. The positive feedback we get from likes, comments, and shares can, over time, lead to social media becoming a kind of coping mechanism. When we’re feeling sad or upset, the feedback from posting our thoughts on Facebook can boost our sense of self worth and validate our feelings.

The pandemic has made the need to be heard even more intense, and many go to Facebook to vent. While it may offer temporary relief, sharing too much on social media can have negative effects, I experienced them myself. Instead of trying to fulfil you needs with Facebook, try to cut back like I did, it’s worth it.



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