How to Beat Digital Depression

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BLOOMSBURG -- If you've logged onto social media recently, you've probably seen quite a few posts on politics. In fact, many people aren't just posting. There's a lot of fighting on Facebook and other sites.

While some people are fighting, others are watching, upset at what they're reading online. There's a term for this and it's called "digital depression." We spoke to an expert about how to beat the social media blues.

Some students at Bloomsburg University studied at a cafe on campus, while others scrolled through social media and then put their phones away in disgust.

Jacob Good says his Facebook feed is filled with fights about politics.

"Extremely negative," said Good. "Everybody's sharing opinions about everything."

"It's all just negative, people fighting, just useless," said Sarah Zechman.

"If you don't like what they're saying, change the conversation," advised Dr. Robert Gerstman, a psychiatrist at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

Dr. Gerstman says these students are feeling "digital depression." He says while it is hard to stay off social media, taking a break for a week or even a day can be refreshing. He believes it's much easier to talk from behind a computer screen.

"It's easier for someone to vent, to express public opinion, to express private opinion, to express political opinion when they're not four feet away from the person they may be offending."

Something Dr. Gerstman stressed to Newswatch 16 is that digital depression is something we can all control.

"You have control over what I'm going to look at, how many minutes a day am I going to look at it? Is there a topic I am not comfortable with or choose not to read? I don't read it."

Even so, the students say ignoring social media is not easy.

"It just feeds into your brain," said Good. "It either makes you really mad or you're like, 'Oh, I agree with that.'"

"It's tempting because you want to comment something. It makes you upset but you just can't because you just don't want to get sucked into that kind of stuff," Zechman added.

But as easy as it is to scroll through Facebook, the doctor recommends giving yourself time limits, if you're feeling depressed, maybe a half an hour a day on social media. Either that, or try your best to ignore it and post cat videos.

3 comments

  • Try Confirmation Bias!

    I only read the views of people who agree with my preconceived ideas, that way I never encounter any conflict or depression. The world is exactly as I wish and believe it to be! Magic!

  • Nope, no, and nonsense

    Why does this keep getting pushed to the top when better stories are buried? Oh, that’s right. As numerous other people have mentioned (and then were deleted). It is Cultural Marxism. Pointing out a problem that you don’t actually have is a swell way to make money… if you are a horrible person. Physical activities release endorphins in your brain. Take a walk, or do some meaningful work. You will feel happier. I triple dog dare you to do at least 20 push-ups and 10 sit-ups then tell me I’m wrong.

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