Social Media Filters More Than What Meets the Eye

Young women taking selfie on smartphone

The Facebookers, Instagramers, and Tweeters of the world all have one thing in common, if you take what they share on social media at face-value, their lives seem flawless. Others who view their content believe that they are leading these lavish lives, when in reality they may not have it all together. Both parties are actually succumbing to the pressures of social media.

Seeing the lives of those around them in real-time on social media is actually causing many people anxiety. It’s called FOMO or fear of missing out. We see our friends getting married and having babies and suddenly we start to think we don’t measure up. For instance, you may be single and it seems every time you check your Facebook, someone is getting engaged or married and you’re wondering, “is it too late for me? Will I ever find the one?”

What you’re not seeing is how maybe that married couple, with three kids, barely talk to each other and have huge marital issues. It’s not like they would share something like that on social media, but they share photos of their three beautiful kids and from the outside looking in, their lives seem perfect.

Also, the moment people cannot check their social media accounts, they tend to feel they’re missing out on something. Thus, they are antsy to be on top of everything on social media, i.e. FOMO. A survey conducted by, revealed 56% of the 2,084 adults sampled on their social media actually admitted to having FOMO.

Social media has inadvertently caused many adolescents to suffer from anxiety and depression, because their peers have turned it into a popularity contest that leaves them thirsting for acceptance. Even in an age where it seems people are sharing their every thought on social media, there is still a large stigma attached to mental illness – this causes some individuals to not share their true reality, simply because it just isn’t trendy. Their peers take notice and suddenly those viewing the content believe their own lives don’t seem up to par, therein begins a vicious cycle. Sadly, many young people are putting on a façade when it comes to the anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts they struggle with every day.

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts please call Switchboard at 2-1-1 or 305-358-HELP, anytime. Just need someone to talk to? We are here to listen.