Social Media & Depression / by Didier Young

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well! I usually write every week on the blog but for the past couple of weeks, I decided to take a small hiatus. To be quite frank, after all those years of blogging and instagramming I did feel a tad burnt out. There is a never ending supply of topics to write about out there, whether it’s about fashion, skincare or even just lifestyle in general but in a way, that endless stream of sharable content is perhaps a double edged sword that finally took it’s toll on me.

I will start off by saying that I am very lucky to be able to do what I do for a living. There are many people that are trying to get into this industry nowadays and it is proving to be quite a feat to achieve. Since I rely heavily on a curated aesthetic when it comes to my social media presence, people often think that all I do is go to parties, get lots of freebies and head off on trips with my other blogger friends. While they aren’t completely wrong, there is far more than meant the eye when it comes to creating content. There are endless emails behind each campaign, hours of engaging on social media and trust me, press trips often take a toll on me due to the amount of catching up that is required both during and post trip. I think that I am speaking on behalf of a lot of other bloggers when I say that we sometimes forget to enjoy the moment because we are so preoccupied with capturing it all for social media. We do it for the gram and we forget to do it for ourselves far too often.

For the bigger part of the last five years, I made sure to post daily on instagram. I kept my social presence constant and I spent hours everyday replying to DMs, comments and to engage with others on the platform. I saw my numbers increase while others remained stagnant but I still chose to focus on how other people’s numbers were growing faster than mine. Instagram became a constant source of competition and comparison. I would compare myself to others, in terms of their looks, in terms of their material belongings and in terms of the engagement that they would receive on their photos. It became a toxic environment where my self doubts would take control and tell me that I wasn’t doing a good enough job. That my photos were not good enough because if they were, then I would also be growing fast. I took it to heart when people would unfollow me or wouldn’t engage on my content, believing that it was a direct attack to the person I am. Instagram made me grow as a person and while it did embellish my life in many ways, it also had an adverse effect on my being and my psyche.

In the last few months, I started pulling myself away from social engagements. I declined coffee dates, dinners and reduced the amount of work engagements that I was going to. A big part of my job required me to remain at home, whether it is to edit a series of images, to write a new blog post or even to take care of the paperwork attached to me being a small business owner. I think that all this time alone without physical human interaction triggered a spell of depression that kept growing and it reached a point where I would physically be unable to get out of bed. I’ve always had a hard time allowing my weaknesses to show and as such, I kept on smiling and pretending that everything was fine even though I felt empty inside. A couple of weeks ago, I took a 3 day break from instagram to focus on life and thats when I finally started feeling like myself again. Since then I’ve been trying to go out more, to have dinners with friends at aesthetically non-appealing restaurants with amazing food and to just be in the moment. Trust me, all of this has truly started making a difference on my general mood and my outlook on life.

I wrote this long blog post simply to say that it’s okay to feel weak and down sometimes but that it is also okay to share that feeling with others who may be able to help you. No one is exempted from these feels and I’ve talked to people with two hundred, two thousand or two hundred thousand followers and the feeling doesn’t subside. We all tend to compare ourselves in this social media age but it is up to you to know that what is being showcased on instagram isn’t always the full truth and that there’s a lot of turmoil that may be present behind an instagram feed. We often get influenced by the images that we see on social media and try to replicate a similar lifestyle for ourselves but the truth is that everyone’s path is different and we all have different things that make us happy. The only person who you should remain accountable to is yourself and that’s all that truly matters.

-Didier