Holidays and Social Media

We’ve discussed before how being 100% happy during the holiday season is just not realistic. In fact, feelings of anxiety can spike (especially those taking finals), the holiday blues is a real phenomenon, and as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, those experiencing seasonal affective disorder may start experiencing symptoms.

Social media, to no surprise, likely paints a different image on your feed. Financial anxieties likely increase with the pressure to buy gifts for loved ones, and continuously getting ads about what to buy as presents probably don’t help. As a season of activities (think Christmas tree lighting, ice skating, winter festivals, and holiday parties), you may experience FOMO, if not at least pressured to go out to find events of your own to attend. For those who may have experienced a recent loss or have strained relationships with family members, seeing images of families together can also trigger negative feelings and depressive symptoms.

Managing how you navigate social media during the holidays is similar to basically any time of the year. The thing is though, FOMO, the pressure to get out and do something, even just taking #aesthetic photos of yourself are all heightened right now. It’s not selfish and you’re not being a Grinch if you don’t want to post anything or go on social media at all during this time, nor are you a Scrooge if you scroll past all the ads and wishlists people are posting. You can use these posts as motivation to call or message a friend or family member to catch up with instead of spending time scrolling through your feeds. You can even put your phone on “do not disturb” and indulge in some cheesy holiday movies if you still want to enjoy the season without being bombarded by how your peers are celebrating.

Everyone has their own way of celebrating the holidays. This isn’t to suggest that posting about the holidays on social media is a bad thing – if it brings you joy, go for it! – but for others, it can get overwhelming and triggering. Social media isn’t the only way to celebrate this time of year, and hopefully you can find a way that’s beneficial and positive for you.

How do you like celebrating the holidays? Do you post about it online? How do you feel about people posting about the holidays on social media?

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: We look forward to talking to you!

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