Depression, Social Media, and Training for Marathons

Well that’s a loaded title, huh?

I’ve been thinking a lot (probably too much) about social media recently. It’s a beautiful and wonderful thing. We can keep in contact with friends and family from across the country, and I’ve made some great friends through Instagram and Twitter (not kidding, here!). They are platforms for spreading positivity, our stories, and promoting fun things like, ARC Running and Running Myself to 13.1.

Unfortunately, it can also be painful and hurtful. I don’t think I stand alone when I say, “Yeah, I compare myself to others while scrolling through Instagram.” Even if it is subconsciously.

How often do you catch yourself saying, “I want their life.” Maybe not in those exact words, but at least some iteration of the phrase. So, you work for what someone else has, but you never get there. And then you see something else you want. You work towards that. And you don’t get there either. The next thing you know you’ve spent the majority of your time chasing after what’s rightfully someone else’s and you’ve lived up to the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” as you sit in a sullen mood on your couch eating a bag of Doritos, because who really cares about being a fitness model, anyway?

If that conversation happens within us multiple times on a daily basis, how defeating and self-destructive can that be? Extremely. It’s no wonder a study connecting depression and social media concluded that “[t]hose who checked their social media most frequently were 2.7 times more likely to be depressed compared to those who checked less often.” You can find an even deeper analysis on the study here.




Or what about when we can’t put our phones away during lunch or dinner with a friend. The phones sit on the table ready to draw anyone’s attention away from the camaraderie and towards what seems to be imminent and pressing. Or what is just simply a silly snapchat. I’m a culprit of it myself, but I’m working on keeping my phone in my purse and on silent, checking it periodically if we’re waiting on someone. Other than that, all else can wait.

BUT, I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer here.



Because there is so much good that can come from social media. And we must be the ones creating, fostering, and advocating for that good. Do a social media audit on yourself by asking these questions.

  • How much time am I spending on social media a day?
  • How do I feel after using social media?
  • Am I only commenting positive things on others’ posts?
  • Am I only posting positive posts (excluding posts raising awareness for things that aren’t so positive, like cures for cancer, and genocide, and mental illness, etc., and anything else that could fall into this category. You get what I’m getting at.)?
  • Does social media lead to more gossiping within my group of friends?
  • Does social media make me think negatively about myself or others?

I urge you to take some time to think about these things. Social media, like I said, can be wonderful and amazing if it’s used for good.

But you know what else is good and doesn’t cause depression? Running! So, as you’re doing your social media audit, why don’t you also take some time to think about running, say, 26.2 miles. If you dare to venture into what could be a frightening, exciting, awe-inspiring, and existential experience, below is a handy infographic on how to train for a marathon. Clicking through the infographic will bring you to a blog post by a previous Boston Marathon winner, with pretty pictures and all!

Source: Blog

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I overcame an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression with the help of this wonderfully amazing thing called running. And that's why I'm here - to share my story and to help those who are going through what I've already gone through. On this blog you'll find running tips, mental health tips, and lots of joy. Join me as we piece life together one run at a time.

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