This is one of the things I feel so passionately about. From anxiety, grows depression and from depression comes suicidal thoughts and attempts.
I am all about having solutions and this is why I have the emotional intelligence workshops (you can see more in Nahla Youth) but right now I want to discuss why from everything I have read, the studies and personal experience, believe we are seeing a continual increase in anxiety.
The internet is a pretty new phenomenal tool, but we have never been shown the emotional effects of it and the importance to self regulate and see through everything we see on it. There is no bar on the information on what is given to us and we tend to believe that everything written is the gospel truth. No one is stopped from writing vicious comments and no one talks about the addictiveness of social media apps.
Social media apps
The men that invented the 'refresh' idea and the 'like' button by their own admission feel that they underestimated the addictiveness of what they believed was a great way to get interaction.
Social media addiction by leading researchers is seen as now a key addiction. However society at large is in the most part ignoring this. ‘My husband doesn't realise how much he's on it’, ‘the children copy us’ they say but that evening find themselves once again scrolling through the pages of social media quietly in their mind comparing their lives to others and watching what others are doing and not even aware of the clock ticking by as there children mimic them.
From social media a new term has appeared called FOMO, ‘Fear of missing out’. Before social media when you weren't invited to a party, it was likely you didn't know about it until later, or you would hear about it in the playground and no doubt know the others who had not been invited. Someone else would be having a party that you would be invited to and all would be right with the world again. You'd hear about it through people talking. All this could happen over a few weeks. Now its in pictures in your hand, watching and feeling unliked. This, I believe is just one part of the anxiety. We see the lives of others and want to either be part of it, want ours to look like theirs and all other such feelings around 'Comparison'.
However with some education early on, we would be able to teach our youth how pictures are a snapshot of time not the whole 10 minutes that surrounded that photo being taken that may not look like the smiles they see and therefore comparison is not only pointless but impossible.
Too many choices
I want to touch on something else, however I could discuss this topic for far too long. It’s about the choices that the internet gives us, the amount of knowledge brings such indecision in our young they don’t know which direction to take. We can travel the world by being a Digital Nomad, make a million behind a computer, be the next pop star, all possible but the process to get them there, for most, are long and not always guaranteed as they rely on being in the right place at the right time. I never say never, but I do say it is helpful to narrow the options based on the values and things someone enjoys because the vast options are fogging our young making any decision at all. Procrastination is now rife.
It is this comparison, FOMO, the amount of choice that our young now have to struggle through that causes the anxiety. Even for some adults the above is true. It is true that we live in the greatest time, but no one knows how to deal with that.
My advise, take some time, do my emotional intelligence workshop. Make yourself more self aware and surround yourself with good people.