Is social media making you depressed? You're not alone

Lynsey Barber
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We all know those gorgeous Instagram pictures of elaborate cocktails, stellar sunsets, fashion mag poses and the all round filtered amazingness of life are a bit of an illusion, but that doesn't stop us taking a peek at the lives of our mates and feeling a little envious.

But for many, people, it's not just a twinge of the green eyed monster, it's actually making them depressed. New research reveals seven million of us feel depressed by our friends' social media updates and comparing them to their own lives - that's one in every five of us.

The same number said they felt unhappy when they saw friends tweeting and posting Facebook updates showing better careers, families and greater wealth and more than half us feel like we're under pressure to use social media, according to the poll of more than 2,000 people by Opinium for Privilege Home Insurance.

Some 56 per cent also admit to doing a bit of "stalking" to check up on old friends and colleagues online, and even ex-partners.

“Social media is bringing the notion of modern friendships into question and, instead of spending quality time together, people increasingly seem to be basing how they see their popularity on superficial measures such as ‘likes’,” said the firm's boss Dan Simson.

Perhaps it's time to switch off.