These 5 Social Media Habits Are Making You Depressed

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Bad news: using social media makes you more prone to depression. A new study took a survey of 1,787 adults between the ages of 19 and 32 and compared their social media usage to their happiness. The study showed that the adults that used social media the most were significantly more likely to be depressed. Uh-oh. The authors of the study don't recommend to shut down social media completely, but they've got me thinking: what can we do to use social media in a healthy way? There are so many cyber habits all of us are guilty of that can make us a tad bit gloomier than we'd like to be. Here are the social media habits that can easily get you down.
1. Constantly comparing yourself to others.
We all do it, sometimes without even realizing it. You're scrolling down your feed and you can't help but find yourself thinking, "How is he spending the summer in Italy? How did she afford that Williamsburg apartment? Wait, how is she engaged already? And why is her waist so perfect?" After seeing how great everyone else is doing, you start questioning yourself and it takes a toll on your self-esteem. The thing about social media is people CHOOSE what to post and how the world sees them, so you don't even know if what you're seeing is 100% accurate. 
2. Living for the gram instead of living for yourself.
You start buying things with the main intention being to Instagram it. You start doing things just so people know you did it. You make a fool of yourself in public just so you can look funny on Snapchat or Vine. You're willing to hurt others just to get retweets on Twitter. The motivation for things you do is all based on internet popularity instead of what you actually want, causing your life to become bland and inauthentic. You don't care what the moment feels like, you just care that it looks good online. 
3. Being exposed to bad news a bit too much.
When you're on Facebook, it's like someone you know breaks up with someone, gets really sick, dies, or gets arrested every day. The news can be a lot to handle and is something you normally wouldn't be exposed to if you didn't have social media. There's the personal news, but then there's the national news that literally only reports the bad news. If you're only exposed to negativity, it's going to suck the happiness out of you. There's obviously so much good in the world, but sometimes, the internet will only tell you about the bad. And let's be honest, no one likes seeing everyones annoying political rants on display 24/7. 
4. Not properly communicating with others by using social media as a replacement. 
Social media is an awesome way for us to keep in touch with our family, our old friends, colleagues, and so on. But instead of giving them a call or shooting them a text, we like their photos. It's a way of saying "I like that you did this! Hope you're doing good," without actually saying it. Instead of meeting old friends for lunch or checking in on them to see how they're doing, we just follow them on social media. It gives us the opportunity to stay connected to them without really being connected to them. That's good for some relationships, but sometimes, it's neglectful and can make you feel quite lonely in the long run.
5. Letting social media eat up your day. 
The time while waiting for the bus, between clients at work, the time lying in bed at night. All of those little moments where you try to get updated on Instagram or Twitter through the day slowly but surely add up. Most of us use social media throughout our entire day, but only a little bit at a time, so it feels like we don't use it that much. But checking your phone that much isn't the best habit to have. 

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