Last week during my film class, my teacher started to share his screen on Zoom so we could watch the movie, “The Social Dilemma,” about how social media affects our society.
My friends and I did not join social media until 2016, but we were little kids at the time. I don’t think we start paying attention to social media until we were in our pre-teens, around 2018. There any many ways that social media has affected us, but the most common in my experience is that we spend hours on Snapchat trying to take the “perfect’’ photo or find the right hashtag to search on Instagram. What I mean is that we focus on what other people think more than we focus on ourselves.
During the first 20 minutes of the movie, I felt anxious about how many people don’t understand depression. It’s easy to put a smile on your face, but it’s not easy to make yourself happy. It doesn’t happen just like that. I also worried about what people thought about depression in general.
When the movie said, quote, “social media makes humans robots,‘’ it brought me back to the very first time I experienced depression, in seventh grade. I was having a hard time with school. I was failing all of my classes, and I felt like I could never get good grades or handle bad news.
When I used to hear bad news I would freak out, feel overwhelmed with emotions and cry. Other people did not notice my depression or feelings because I bottled up my emotions and hid them inside. Nobody knew what was going on at that time in my life.
Later that day, I posted a photo on Snapchat with my brother and I hugging each other and smiling. My real experience, however, of going through a rough time, was not what I reflected on social media. I think that is because a lot of us don’t want the world to know how we really feel we think it’s just “better’’ to hide our true feelings.
Now I can handle bad news, I have good grades, and I don’t let my depression get in the way of school. I want to stop normalizing the fact that people assume that you’re okay just because you look okay. When you look at a stranger’s post you assume they are happy when they’re smiling, but that person might be having a bad day. I think we should take action and be more self-aware with ourselves and our friends, embracing how we’re really feeling instead of just posting happy things. We need to be better at communicating with each other about how we’re really feeling, not just looking at random photos on social media and using that to communicate.