More people are lonely than you may think

LES's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 327

In today's social media dominated world, we only see edited versions of reality. Most likely, this is a result of human nature (the tendency for human beings to want to show off/be admired) and the apps themselves. After all, who wants to follow or watch someone who posts pictures of paint drying? As consumers of social media, we only want to see the fun and exciting, not the boring and normal.

Therein lies the issue: we constantly see the positive aspects of others' lives, but fail to see the negative aspects. There are exceptions of course, but as a generalization, this is true. As a result, I'd argue that more people are lonely than you may think.

This was a realization I came to in the past year through various personal experiences. For instance, during a drunken moment, one of my friends revealed to me that he felt very lonely and didn't actually have many "close" friends. This came as a huge surprise since this guy is one of the more extroverted, social, and outgoing people I know -- he's not at all someone you'd expect to be lonely, at least based on physical appearance and personality. He was even a member of a frat, so at the very least, you'd think his brothers would be close friends.

Another time, after hosting a party, I was cleaning up my apartment and found a bottle of antidepressants. The antidepressants ended up belonging to one of my friends, who similarly never really displayed overt signs of anxiety/depression. I was shocked.

You can call me naive, but I think this is an incredibly important topic, and one for which it would be especially beneficial to discuss on an anonymous forum like WSO. The point is that you are not alone if you feel lonely. It's perfectly common and normal to occasionally have feelings of loneliness or social anxiety.

We've all had moments when you see a friend's Snapchat story and you wonder, "Why wasn't I invited?" (I guess this only applies to the millennials) Even if you're confident in yourself and know that social media is a facade, it still certainly does not feel good.

Curious to hear everyone's own experiences with loneliness, and anything else related to this topic.

EDIT: I just wanted to add that being alone and being lonely are not the same (this is from some of the comments). You can be happy and alone, and alternatively, you can also be with others and feel lonely.

Comments (61)

Jan 13, 2017

No doubt people come here to vent. I think it actually becomes easier as you become older to make lasting, genuine friendships. Invest in yourself - pursue hobbies, passions, side intellectual projects, volunteer, be nice to people, etc - and you'll get a truer vision of yourself and hence easier to connect with people. I lost touch, both voluntarily and naturally, with a lot of my "friends" from my banking analyst years, realized our hang out's were nothing more than subtle dick measuring contests - what club did you go to, did you bag that girl, how late were you in the office - all while being glued to the phone most of the time. I know i was guilty of this myself. Obviously this is not all the individual's fault - pressure from the job can be intense and hard to show any weakness. I wish I had been able to genuinely connect with someone when I was younger, but could only muster up a douch-bag front to appear cool that I probably lost out on some good friends, girls, mentors out there.

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Jan 14, 2017

I feel like I was a dick to classmates in grade school and that bothers me all these years later. Is that normal?

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May 29, 2018

.

Jan 17, 2017

It's more normal than not being bothered, which would be a sign of psychopathy.

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Jan 18, 2017

That is the* new *normal. Orange is the new black ?

Jan 18, 2017

What advice do you have for a college student who feels that everyone is always trying to create the front of being happy and successful? It's hard to create lasting and meaningful relationships.

Best Response
Jan 13, 2017

I would describe myself as being more on the outgoing and extroverted side, can most definitely relate to this thread and the feeling that comes with being left out of the whole party and fun scene. My college years were, by far, some of the loneliest years of my life.

Looking back at it, what made me feel miserable was not the fact that I was lonely, it was the fact that I was lonely a lot of times yet got the impression that some people were having a fun and fulfilling social life with friends, fun experiences, and that feeling of a community. To make matters even worse, society puts so much pressure on you to enjoy college by telling you things like "the best 4 years of your life" and how it will never be easier to make friends, socialize, and have fun.

That is what gets you, not the loneliness, but that feeling of being excluded like you aren't hot enough or good enough to be called to that fun party or that exciting social event.

Just that feeling that not only was I lonely, I was lonely in a time where I was least likely in my life to be lonely and nothing this good will ever come. No matter what I do after college, nothing will rival that fulfilling emotion of having a good social life and belong to a large crowd once college is done.

Then again, looking back at it, I realized that only a select number of kids actually had a great social life in college. The wealthier kids whose parents paid their Greek Life dues and even had the privilege of having an easier major. It seemed like most of the poor kids as well as kids who didn't fit that mold of upper middle class suburban kid had a fairly lonely college experience.

What makes it the worst isn't that it is lonely, it is that it is so hyped up and aggressively promoted by American society as being the pinnacle of social life and fun in American culture. Now I know why some kids in college go crazy and become such a miserable mess.

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Jan 13, 2017

Could not agree more. Especially about how college is hyped up to be the "best 4 years of your life."

Jan 14, 2017

I think I experienced both worlds during college. Was depressed in the latter half of sophomore year going into junior year, and it really reflected in my grades. The only time I didn't think about my problems was when I talked to people and when I slept, so I am sure you could imagine how much I valued sleep at the time. I chose to study abroad pretty much at the tail end of the depression and it was a complete reversal. Best 4-5 months of my life. You could say something along those privilege lines (in reference to "Greek Life" comment), but I had paid for most of it from working so much during college. The fact that I was "privileged" to study abroad, or the fact that your peers participated in Greek life, really has nothing to do with it. I was miserable in the first 1-2 weeks of studying abroad and constantly wondered if I had made a huge mistake. What really made the experience amazing was pushing myself out of my comfort zone and making friends - you meet 100+ new people in a very short while, and that's the same case as Greek life, I am sure. You don't need studying abroad or frats to meet a mass number of people; **just get out and volunteer, network, sign up for MeetUps, etc. **

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Jan 18, 2017

I think that is a misunderstood comment. I think when people say that, they are really saying, "The real world totally sucks" and not, "College is more fun than other things"

Jan 17, 2017

Can help if you're willing to put yourself outside the comfort zone. I know one guy(kinda...a loose acquaintance) who ended up joining a D&D group, and much to his surprise he found it a valuable experience because he learned story telling skills in a way that other kids didn't. He ended up going into B2B sales and doing very well.

Jan 18, 2017

D&D? Nah, definitely not my thing, I tend to avoid board games and that crowd in general.

Jan 15, 2017

I have actually invested in de-digitalizing myself from my phone (and gotten rid of most social media except for FB, due to connection purposes). This brings up a valid point though.

When I talk to people, I make sure that I am listening in on every word and choosing my responses more selectively...this has yielded tremendous results.

I make people laugh when I can, helped a homeless vet who could use a warm meal. I volunteer my holidays (when I am not dying from a sickness) at the local kitchens to feed the homeless, or help build stuff for people who need help.

Do I need to do all of the above? No. Has it made me into a better person? I wouldn't know. I think there's a stronger value I am adding to society overall by doing so, and it helps promotes future generations to live in a better society.

PS - I am on sleepy meds when I wrote this, the grammar is absolutely atrocious.

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Jan 15, 2017

You are born into this world alone. Hopefully throughout life's journey, you establish some truly meaningful and intimate relationships with those that matter most to you. Morbid as it may be, you ultimately exit the world the same way you entered it. Alone. You have to be able to live up to your own decisions and ultimately have a good relationship with yourself. Do this, and you will certainly make connections with others that can last a lifetime.

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Jan 15, 2017
McEnroe:

You are born into this world alone. Morbid as it may be, you ultimately exit the world the same way you entered it. Alone. You have to be able to live up to your own decisions and ultimately have a good relationship with yourself.

If more people were to take this to heart, there would be a lot more happy people.

Jan 15, 2017

I envy the lonely ones.

Try getting married and having young kids screwing up all your leisure time, then being lonely will be luxury !!

Reading, exploring, meditation, exercising and planning a vacation alone or with friends like the "Wild Hogs" is something from the past.

Jan 15, 2017

I'd say that there's a difference between being alone and lonely. I guess you're currently missing your time "alone" instead?
Sorry for being sentimental but IMHO loneliness is not something to envy for. There are people out there (like me) that are still feeling lonely even when we are surrounded by people - or "friends". It sucks.

Jan 15, 2017

I was under the impression that OP is referring to loneliness in a social context.

Feeling lonely even when surrounded by family and friends is a mental health issue and requires counselling with a doctor or spiritual guru.

Jan 15, 2017

I deactivated my Facebook a few months ago -- it's been great. I used to keep it active because I had family group chats in the Messenger part of the site and didn't want to lose those updates -- FB recently made a change where you can stay on the Messenger app even when your account is deactivated. That change made the decision to deactivate much easier.

Next is deactivating Instagram, which is even worse than FB when it comes to social media vanity. It's just a daily barrage of hot girls posting their best bikini pics and guys posting pics of their last ski or beach trip. It becomes unbearable after awhile and only makes you question your QOL. Here's a good article on the topic:
https://theringer.com/instagram-geotagging-ruining...

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Jan 17, 2017

It's not necessary to entirely deactivate it. I use it as an IM app for some older friends. What works for me is downloading plugins to block the news feed. That restricts your content to conversations on your own statuses, groups, and IM conversations which generally are value adds.....especially if those facebook groups include things like alumni pages.

Jan 18, 2017

I have not logged onto Facebook in years. And think it is one of the best decisions I made. There were a couple of people I forgot to give my email to - had my wife PM them on FB. I figure if they decided to message me great, but if I never hear from them that is fine and ultimately their decision.

Jan 15, 2017

Part of the reason why you are here on WSO?

Jan 17, 2017

Social media has altered a vast majority of people's perception of happiness and etc. I am pointing towards happiness, but you can dig into loneliness and success as well, for example. People are essentially tricking themselves into poor relationships, friendships and possibly even pursuits in terms of life goals. Many have lost their ability to connect with people on a level beyond social media.

Personally, I enjoy spending time alone and have always been like that. I am fortunate enough to have some real friends, although - here is something funny - my friendships with some have suffered particularly because they felt obliged to share experiences (going out, etc.), on social media and felt like I am 'robbing them' from the full experience if I refused to pose for a photo or something.

So, yeah, Facebook and other platforms have done some serious damage in the way people perceive many aspects of life. We are merely tackling the surface here.

I guess that my post was directed more at the more people are lonely than you think part, but I sure as hell do agree with you.

Jan 17, 2017

Confirmation bias. More people are gathering to find others who share their opinions. Misery loves company.

Jan 17, 2017

I remember during my first internship in PWM with an advisor that I hated, She was the only one I had contact with all day, but yet I was in NYC - the city was massive and new to me, but even as an extreme extrovert, I have never felt so alone. When I used to step outside to smoke, I would purposely ask someone for a light just to have a chance to strike up a conversation.

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Jan 17, 2017

As someone who definitely enjoys being alone (I spend 5-6 weekends a year backpacking, usually alone), even I sometimes catch myself wondering "why wasn't I invited?", etc. Then I realize, I don't actually like relying on people to do things I enjoy. Point being, that regardless of your personality type, you're not alone if you're lonely.

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Jan 17, 2017

I can relate to this. The college experience in my mind in high school wasn't nearly as much fun for me as I thought it would be, leading to some unhappiness in college. The whole best 4 years of your life slogan was a lie. In fact I don't think people who partied all the way through can honestly say for them it was one big party. Of course at the time I thought otherwise, but it was an illusion. I think today with Facebook it can be worse on students who feel left out of the party on campus because now it's in your face like an airbrushed version of reality. But I would say to any person who feels down to know that it's airbrushed and seek out friends on campus. Turn off Facebook. Turn off Instagram and talk to some girls.

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Jan 18, 2017

"No man is an island" is a very true statement, however in the current generation this has been extrapolated to mean that man needs a lot of friends in order to feel whole. There is this entire race on social media to see who has the most friends, the most followers, the most likes, the most comments...

It has become a sad flee to quantity over quality. Why else would people actually spend money to BUY followers, likes, comments, etc?

I have friends who say that they feel lonely because they have only 3 friends as opposed to 10 friends.
When did we as a society start believing that having more friends is the way to go?

In my opinion, many people feel very lonely today because they compare themselves to other people - be it in social media or in real life.
It is quite a funny situation actually. Person X has hundreds of "friends" and seems very happy (but in reality they actually feel very lonely). Person Y has a handful of true friends, but they are constantly comparing themselves to Person X - wondering why they do not have as many friends as Person X. The end result? Person Y ends up feeling lonely as well, yet in reality they should not because they have true friends, albeit only a small number.

Unfortunately, this is just human nature. Social media has only amplified that which lies within us. It has made it effortless to compare oneself to others.
So what you only have 2 close friends? So what you're not Mr/Miss Popular?

If you live life true to your values and avoid falling into the trap of comparing yourself to others, then feelings of loneliness will become few and far between.

Jan 18, 2017

grow a pair

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

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Jan 24, 2017

Hey, I understand the sentiment, but this really is a significant issue. The big hypocrisy of our time is that social media connects us to more people than ever before, and yet we are feeling lonelier than ever before. People tend to form many shallow connections rather than a few deep, meaningful ones.

Perhaps the biggest issue in all of this is that even for those who are trying to form the deeper, more meaningful connections (such as myself), society (especially for those 18-30) really pressures us to do the opposite. Otherwise, it seems as if you aren't living life to the fullest. Not attending exclusive parties? Missing out. Not hitting up bars every day of the weekend? Missing out. Not hanging out with hundreds of different people? Missing out. I enjoy going out 1-2 days a week, and generally hanging out with a few good friends every other day or so. And yet, by society's metrics, I'd be considered average at best in terms of 'social success.'

As someone who has recently realized the importance of having genuine friends you can always count on, I can tell you that the shift is very, very challenging. Even as I enjoy my time with these people, I still sometimes feel the pressure to go out and meet a lot more people. Don't get me wrong, I have enough friends with which I can hang out with to grab food, go out to parties with, etc., and yet, I see people my age doing the same thing, but with literally dozens more people. And even as I start to feel satisfied with the progress I am making with forming deeper, lasting relationships, suddenly I feel dissatisfied all over again as I look around at my peers. I am certain that as my peers grow older, many of them will look around and regret not having many of these more profound relationships, but for the moment, I am feeling some regret for moving away from establishing many shallow connections and having more 'friends.' Research has proven over and over again that it is those with a few deep and meaningful relationships are happier than those with many shallow ones, and yet, achieving this is harder than ever before. It really is something that people should be more aware about.

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Jan 25, 2017

Y'all are passing yourself for cynical people, work hard play hard fellas, yet you are crying about being lonely because some random douche has some photos on facebook. Please, man the f**k up. If you feel lonely get a girlfriend, satisfaction guaranteed. Also, as you approach your late 20s you should develop some hobbies and learn how to entertain yourself, because guess what? the older you get the less sh*t other people will give about you since they have their own lives to take care about.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

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Jan 25, 2017

"Not attending exclusive parties? Missing out. Not hitting up bars every day of the weekend? Missing out. Not hanging out with hundreds of different people? Missing out. I enjoy going out 1-2 days a week, and generally hanging out with a few good friends every other day or so. And yet, by society's metrics, I'd be considered average at best in terms of 'social success.'"

I guess my naive nature comes back again but isn't that sort of stuff, especially hanging out with hundreds of different people and attending exclusive parties more of a college thing that ends at around 22 to 23 when you graduate compared to being a thing for the rest of your 20s? I can't imagine someone actually doing that past the age of 25 let alone glamorizing it.

Seems like people engage with the party demon in college but after that, they're desperately trying to clean up their act and show how grown up and mature they are. Then again, I don't live in NYC and people in my part of the country get married young so I was just asking.

Jan 18, 2017

An important topic and one that is probably not discussed enough. It fits into the theme of how social media feeds pluralistic ignorance: "In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it. This is also described as "no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes."" For instance, people in the Greek scene at college probably think that everyone is constantly getting laid and/or promiscuous but the fact is that the millenial generation is the least promiscuous generation since the 1950s (more virgins, fewer partners, etc).

Back to the topic at hand: loneliness. Remember that the lives you see on social media are curated and are not an accurate reflection of reality. A lot more people struggle with depression and loneliness than you might think based on what you see and hear. The urbanization of America is without a doubt a contributor to this trend as it pulls people away from their natural support networks (family, hometown, etc) and drops them in a fairly anonymous setting. I love living in cities and I think overall it's a net positive but the change can be wrenching for some people.

The only advice I have is to be proactive about getting out there and seeing people. I do have a lot of friends from college who live in my city but as I've gotten older more of them have gotten married/engaged and stopped going out nearly as much as they used to. What you have to remember is that while their priorities/drives may have shifted, it does not mean these people are not your friends. You simply have to be more proactive in seeing them. I live alone, and it would be pretty easy for me to just go home and watch Netflix every night. What I do instead is make plans, LOTS of plans. I play basketball with friends once a week. I make weekend plans in advance (I know, such a departure from the 7 PM Friday "where are we pregaming" text). I make dinner reservations and find friends to go with. I find out who is interested in movies I like and we go together. I organize people to watch sports/TV shows. I also do impromptu activities but when your friend group is 80% coupled/20% single finding people to join is harder. You will find that if you make these small efforts (and they are small since communication has never been easier) it goes a long way to ensuring you have enjoyable social interactions.

Jan 25, 2017

I would like to ask, why not make new friends in the big city rather than sticking with older ones? I plan on doing this when I move since I would like to be a part of newer social circles and newer crowds, or is it just really hard to do in a big city since people are more closed off to making new friends after a certain age?

Jan 18, 2017

"No one is as happy as they seem on Facebook, as depressed as they seem on Twitter, or as talented as they seem on LinkedIn"

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Jan 19, 2017

"Or as rich as they seem on Instagram"

Jan 18, 2017

I work a lot and most of the people I work with are either wholly incompetent or morally bankrupt. It is soul crushing sometimes. To get good initiatives passed sometimes feels like I'm a Sherpa to Rosie Odonnell having to pack her ass to the summit of Everest.

With that being said, even though it's lonely being one of the few non-knuckle dragging cavemen, it's also nice because there's not a deep talent pool and I look like Usain Bolt racing Stephen Hawkings compared to some folks (even a couple levels above me) and this has started gaining the attention of senior management.

muricah. #darwinism

Jan 18, 2017

You have to learn to value your close friends and family as well as be able to confidently be alone with yourself and not get caught up in the hype of FOMO, its unhealthy. Easy said than done of course, but it is important that as one ages you learn to be as happy alone as you are or seem to be with others.

Jan 25, 2017

That's the issue for me right now that I am struggling with.

On one hand I know as I get older this stuff will matter less but on the other hand, I know I will also feel that sting from time to time of never having experienced that social fun to a degree. It's been a big issue for me in life since I missed out on the fun in college.

One day I know it will not really matter as almost everyone will be settled down or just go their own lonely way but at the same time, it is also that feeling of knowing that the window of opportunity to have those fun social experiences is closing every single year for me.

Pretty sure I might be the only one that feels this way. It's like I want to experience that sort of active social life for a short amount of time before moving on from it and growing up, if I miss it then it will always be on my mind. Kinda sucks to live in a region where people marry young and are for the most part, the morally self-righteous types.

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Jan 19, 2017

A big issue I found with social media is that it managed to dilute the meaning of "friend". A friend is much more than someone you talk online with or only chill with at parties. That's why when it comes to crunch time, a lot of these so-called friends disappear and people end up being shocked.

Better to have 3 real friends than 20 "friends".

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Jan 20, 2017

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-18...
When Suckerberg is dishonest, you know everything that's wrong with this world.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Jan 20, 2017

I feel like people use social media as a vale to really hide cultural traits that are making us less and less friendly/out-going.

I remember living without cell phones in the 90's when people actually met each other's gaze in the streets, say hello and at the very lease acknowledge each other's existence.

Jan 22, 2017

A lot of people in banking and similar areas are very image conscious, and having accomplished friends is great because they can carry them around like a Prada handbag and show them off... until, of course, friends start having real life problems and it's too much work to deal with it.

The loneliest I've ever felt was during my senior year at a top target, when I had a large circle of friends, was well respected and well known by underclassmen, a BB return offer, more money in my bank account than I'd ever had, and was on track to graduate with honors. I had a severe episode of bipolar depression, and admittedly, I could barely leave my room, and was in hospital for my worst periods, but the reaction of my friends who did have some insight into what was going on shocked me.

To one friend, who knew I was depressed and anxious, I asked her whether she ever thought that people didn't want her to be alive anymore, and her response was "no, get back to the case interview practice please." Right before a suicide attempt, I called my best friend who had seen me with blood running down my arms just days earlier, and who i told that I couldn't live anymore. I asked her if she could spare ten minutes because I really needed to talk and to get out of my room. She told me no.

I'm much happier these days spending time with friends who stick around each other for the lows and the highs. I do struggle talking to friends who are lonely and miserable, but are so image conscious that they don't make moves to improve their situation, and actively look down upon those that do.

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Jan 22, 2017

Your choice of university friends, you chose. . . . poorly.
I mean WTF! You see somebody who's cut themselves, then requests to talk with you a few days later, and you say no? What kind of schmuck does that?
Oh, the top target types...

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Jan 25, 2017

It isn't just the top targets, I feel like most universities full of your typical upper middle class suburban types are the same way, little to no empathy and it's all about how you can make me look to others. Every day is a battle for social positioning with almost little to no empathy.

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Jan 23, 2017

Great post OP.

Honestly, as a college student myself, sometimes I get frustrated wondering if the grind is worth it - the networking, the leadership roles, etc. I now have an "impressive" track record according to friends and acquaintances, but at the same time, I haven't had time to join "fun" clubs because I'm so busy overseeing dozens of other people in my leadership roles. And that's a key issue for me because of the opposite natures of high school and college.

In high school, you didn't need clubs because you were constantly around the same people. As a result, you had a chance to make really deep connections with those who you did share ideals. Obviously, many friends won't be close because you became friends from being in the same proximity, but I was fortunate to make a tightknit group that stays in contact even now.

In college, you find it easier to connect to all these people who share your interests, but it becomes difficult to maintain and grow these connections because everyone is always busy - with classes, clubs, events, and other friends. As a result, it seems harder to me to make deep, meaningful friendships with people in college.

Anyway, its posts like these that let me realize many people probably have the same thing going on, or even worse. At least I know for a fact I have several close friends at home, as well as a few in college.

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Jan 24, 2017

I find that a good approach to this problem may be to take the time to listen to yourself. Unless your issue is on the clinical side, some introspection is probably a great solution. Things move so fast, and get so grindy sometimes that it's easy to lose sight of how you feel, what you really think, your (actual) aspirations and perhaps more important, who you are.

Jan 25, 2017

In the '70s, they changed the definition of "depression" in the DSMII (at the time) to include way more people. 11% of Americans are now on antidepressants. I think they're massively over-prescribed and it's the fault of doctors, the pharma industry, but mostly people. My Libertarian side thinks you should be able to take whatever the hell you want, regardless of prescription, so long as it doesn't impact strangers.

I think most people who are depressed are being lazy bitches. I've been on antidepressants briefly. This was when I didn't have anything important going on in life. I sat around, smoked weed, and wondered why I didn't give a shit about anything, had anxiety, and didn't want to leave the house. I need to constantly be doing both productive and challenging things, physically and mentally, not to feel this way. And I'm grateful that I am this way, because it pushes me to accomplish things. Of course there are outliers, but for the most part I believe that depression and anxiety is your subconscious telling you to get your shit together and quit being a pussy.

The following things are required routinely to feel good: Strength training, cardio training, good diet, healthy relationship (or healthy lack thereof), striving for career/money goals, striving for personal goals, time in nature. There are others, but those are the big ones.

If you don't choose to do any of that and would rather take a pill and walk around numbed out, you're a bitch.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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Jan 26, 2017

I believe this video succinctly categorizes the problems underlying your thread:

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Jan 26, 2017

My opinion, not pushing a mandate or anything:

Social media has hurt more than helped millennials. There is all this content talking about social media is what's shaping the next generation, emerging leaders are only ones who can leverage and building online networks, millennials will only be motivated if their boss or employer connects with them through a platform, etc, etc, etc.

A very important point has been made in multiple comments: Social Media is not a reflection of our true selves, and when we lose that reflection, our identity erodes.

What do I mean? Your online presence is a brand, the platforms have made it that way. You exchange your content for appreciation (likes, shares, comments). The more impacting your content is, the bigger your brand is. So by natural selection users only publish what is interesting. When we realize that "hey, not everything in my life is interesting," we start manipulating our reality so it fits the narrative. That...is losing your identity. There are breaking points, both individual and macro-scale ones. The individual breaking points are the testimonies of disconnecting from the platforms, and having a [mostly] good experience. The macro-breaking point is yet to happen, when We (capital W) begin to realize that these platforms aren't a real reflection of ourselves. We will get sick of ourselves and how We portray ourselves online, and We will adapt and choose a new course. Not to be political, but I think Trump's intentional strategy to keep his personal Twitter page going and authoring many posts that [he, himself knows] are hot button is potentially accelerating our journey to the macro-level breaking point.

You know time hop? Who loves what they find on time hop? Not many...when you look back 5-7-10 years and see whatever crap you posted on facebook...it's not like it's flattering...it's more like "wow...I really was weird back then posting every day with a Tony Robbins quote" I'm guilty, I've seen my twitter feed from circa 2010 and I hate it. Made me stop using it...because it wasn't me.

One more example and then I'm wrapping up: A good friend of mine moved with newlywed wife to Kansas for work, Wichita to be precise. They are from a mid-size city in the rust-belt. If they were in KC that'd be different, but they hate Wichita. And the wife posts incessantly to social media, she has for years. You know every detail of her day, and the infamous Starbucks/designer bag/manicure/[insert boarding pass, journal, work, etc] posed picture shows itself every few days. Your perception is life is pretty lush for herself...but being friends with her husband I know, for a fact, that they are struggling to really feel at home. That's an example of screwing your brand online...and if enough people see that content form enough people who aren't totally themselves, then we are going to see (if not already) a significant rise in emotional issues non-withstanding of depression, anxiety, anger, etc.

Now, you may rebuttal with the point of people needing to understand what social media is. I agree, completely. I have empathy for both parties, though. The ones who post this false representation of the day-to-day of life are sick too.

My wish for people is to tap into their true selves, embrace the realities of life, and know that it isn't always going to be pretty or nice, but to still love yourselves anyway. **Said differently, love yourself for exactly who you are, not what you wish to be. **

Thanks, press on everyone.

Jan 26, 2017
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heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Jan 28, 2017
Jan 28, 2017