A recent article entitled “Me vs. My Social Media Self: Why Gen Z is the Saddest Generation” goes through the story of a college woman who, although smiling on her Instagram feed, was very depressed. A recent study in Pediatrics suggests that teens are diagnosed with depressive disorders at an alarming rate over the past few years since social media usage has exploded. This epidemic is particularly prevalent amongst young women who are, in general, more likely to struggle with body image and self-esteem issues related to their appearance.
When the woman looked through her own feed, she saw pictures of other women smiling and wondered why she was not as happy as them. An interesting reflection followed which was, perhaps they too are smiling through the sadness. It is interesting that in a world where we are posting picture after picture with our best smiles on, we are apparently the saddest we have ever been. We are constantly comparing our fake smiles to the fake smiles of others, and wondering why we do not measure up.
This Is not to suggest that there are no happy people on social media. I am sure there are plenty of people who are genuinely happy in the world. However, in the current state of our social media lives, there always seems to be that looming cloud around making your life seem better than it (potentially) is in real life.