According to, seven out of ten Singaporeans are active social media users, more than double the global average. Furthermore, age doesn’t seem to be a significant factor: 82% of Singaporeans over the age of 55 use social media, just 14% less than the under 25’s.

While social media is a positive experience for most users, it can also have negative consequences for some. A study by .

Statistics show that teenagers and young adults are especially likely to experience symptoms of depression linked to social media usage, and that young women are more prone to feelings of despair and sadness than young men.

There are good reasons why social media usage can sometimes lead to depression. Cyberbullies, fault-finders, and show-offs can lead you into thinking and feeling that you’re not as attractive as others, or that you’re less successful. You may even be persuaded to believe that you’re unworthy of love and respect.

Social media show-offs

These are people who use social media to brag and show-off.

If you believe the pics and messages these people post, they always have perfect hair and only wear brand-name clothes. They holiday on New Zealand’s South Island and shop in Hong Kong. They dine out in the most expensive restaurants. Their best friends drive Pagani Zonda’s.

Comparing your own life with these show-offs can leave you feeling unattractive and unsuccessful. If you use social media excessively, you may even have low self-esteem and suffer from depression.

But what if it’s all an illusion? Nobody’s life is perfect. Just like you, show-offs have days when their hair is greasy and they wear sweatpants while eating fast food from McDonald’s.

The show-off just doesn’t want you to see that side of their lives.

Consider this meme from “Social media has created jealous behaviour over illusions. Sadly, some are envious of things, relationships, and lifestyles that don’t even exist.”

Even though you may know that you’re comparing yourself to an illusion, it may still be challenging to overcome low self-esteem and depression without professional help. If this is your situation, it may be best to get help from a psychiatrist in Singapore. Psychiatrists are qualified mental health professionals who can help you refresh your mental health.

Social media fault-finders

These are people who use social media to point out your faults, real or imagined.

Julie Tan, the actress, admitted that she was so harshly body-shamed by social media fault-finders that she sought treatment for the depression it caused.

Julie Tan is not alone; more and more celebrities are removing themselves from social media because they are bombarded with negative comments day after day. The social media experience for many of these celebrities leaves them with a poor self-image, and they seek treatment for the depression they suffer as a result.

Fault-finders will respond negatively to even your most innocent posts and pics. Post a pic of your new shoes, and they’ll tell you that they’re the wrong colour. Tell your followers that you’re excited about your new job and the fault-finder will respond that you’re unlikely to succeed for some or other reason.

But it can get even worse: you may bare your inner soul about your fears and joys, or your loves and dreams, and the fault-finder will shoot down every one of your emotions, even ridiculing them.

Cornelius Lindsay, the Christian pastor, said, “Social media is a dangerous place to seek affirmation, acceptance, identity, and security.”

If you regularly expose yourself to constant criticism, you may eventually doubt your self-worth. You may believe yourself to be unlovable, or stupid, or ugly. These are all signs that you may be depressed.

Social media cyberbullies

These are people who use social media to hurt, harass, embarrass and intimidate others.

Cyberbullies often create fake profiles to remain anonymous. This gives them the power to say nasty things without any consequences.

If someone is sending you mean texts, or posting hurtful things about you on social media, you’re the victim of a cyberbully.

Cyberbullies use many tools in their quest to hurt and humiliate.  They often start false rumours or spread malicious gossip. They may mock you in an online group chat, or share an embarrassing video of you without your permission.

Worst of all, a cyberbully may threaten physical harm to you and your loved ones to intimidate you.

The best thing to do with a cyberbully is to block them from your social media platforms. Of course, they can just create another fake online profile and keep going, so take care who you accept as a social media friend.

Cyberbullying can leave you feeling anxious fearful, helpless, and depressed. If you have symptoms of depression, it’s time to get professional help to regain control of your life instead of giving power to the cyberbully.

Last thoughts…

Social media is a useful and fun way to stay in contact with family and friends who live far and near. You can also educate yourself on social media, and be inspired by the achievements of others. You can promote yourself on social media and boost your career and job opportunities. You can make new friends.

Those are the positive things.

But there are also negatives. Comparing yourself to the illusory lifestyles of the show-offs, believing the negative criticisms of the fault-finders, and giving the power to cyberbullies, can result in depression and despair.

Also, spending an excessive amount of time on social media can result in social anxiety when you’re faced with real people in a physical setting. Or you may feel a sense of isolation because your only contact is with people on social media.

Use social media, but also get out into the real world: meet friends for a meal or a movie, go for a walk in the park, or join a volunteer group and give back to your community.

Two out of three Singaporeans admit that they’re addicted to social media. If you think you are, or you’re suffering from depression as a result of social media show-offs, fault-finders, and cyberbullies, let the experienced and caring clinicians at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic in Singapore guide you to improved mental wellness and bring back the joy in your life.

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