If you’re like me, and I’m sure you are, or you wouldn’t be reading this website that is tailored to people like me, then you spend a lot of time on social media. Well, apparently this isn’t very good for our mental health, and given my severe generalized anxiety disorder, this makes a lot of sense. Our friends over at Mashable broke it down platform by platform, and the results were rather surprising. The worst of the social platforms for our mental health is Instagram. The innocent, photo sharing application has plunged society into a dark depression, one hot dog leg photo at a time, and I love it.
The limey Brits over at the Royal Society of Public Health (the result of still being a monarchy) claim that Instagram is giving us millennials a sense of inadequacy that’s leading to anxiety. Well, that’s a relief. It turns out that our crippling anxiety as a species could all be avoided if we’d just log the hell off once in a while. Since that option is clearly out the window, however, I think that Instagram is doing us all a favor. It turns out Instagram is good for more than just food porn and actual porn. No one likes to be the guy whose bigger than his britches, and Instagram is doing its part to keep us all humble. By witnessing the unattainable beauty of photoshopped Instagram “models,” we’re growing our own self-awareness and realizing that we’re all actually not that great. When we combine that with our futile attempts to prove our self-worth through exotic vacations and nice shoes, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Don’t look down.
The finding that surprised me the most, was that there was only one platform that had a positive impact on people’s emotions, YouTube. Have you ever broken Rule #1 and gone down the racist rabbit hole that is the YouTube comments? I have. It’s like a vortex of negativity and hate. A video of a little girl born blind seeing her mother for the first time will garner such reactions as “fake” and “Newtown was a false flag.” The negativity and conspiracy theories fly like bottomless appetizers down there. It’s a sick, sick place. I guess any platform that will guide you step by step through an open heart surgery so that you can do one yourself will build up a little confidence here and there.
As dangerous as Instagram can be, the most disturbing discovery of this RSPH study is that they’re completely wrong. Clearly, these researchers have never posted a perfect Twitter joke to the tune of zero favorites or retweets. Nothing will destroy your confidence faster. There have been days that I’ve stayed in bed all day over bombing a tweet the night before. There’s no coming back from that, at least not until the next time you tweet 15 minutes later. It’s a powerful tool. A gift and a curse. Until we learn to love ourselves, no one else will love our tweets.
I’m offended that I was not consulted on this matter. I consider myself to be an expert in things that make me feel like shit, so the next time you want a little info on the things that are bad for us, please give me a call.