Reaffirming her commitment to breaking stigma surrounding mental illnesses, actress Isabelle Daza on Saturday launched a new online series relating mental health concerns with social media addiction, particularly in the Filipino setting.
The first of three parts, which she released on Instagram, feature a psychologist named Richthofen De Jesus to discuss phone addiction and how social media is influencing people’s offline behavior in more harmful ways than helpful.
Part of their discussion was understanding the “pressure” of social media on Filipinos, specifically the younger generation.
“Because, primarily, Filipinos are very sociable individuals. We don’t want to be left out. There’s always this thing among Filipinos that what is the ‘in’ thing, we want to jump on the bandwagon and be a member of that,” said De Jesus.
From this pressure, he said, stems issues on our self-esteem.
“Now, when Facebook opened up, everyone wants to be a part of it. What happens here is that, we now try to identify ourselves with the people that we follow on Facebook. So, because we are trying to identify ourselves with them, we now want to achieve a level or status that they are experiencing,” he continued.
Isabelle admitted that she herself suffers from what she calls “social media anxiety", a disorder where disconnection from social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter cause one anxiety.
“But I think, now I’m much in a better place, I feel a little bit more safe,” she said.
It could be recalled that this isn’t the first time that the It Girl talked about her own experiences of battling the pressures of the online realm, specifically having to keep up a “façade of living a perfect life” as a celebrity and digital influencer.
“[But] it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. We’re going to get through this,” she said as she encourage everyone to support the movement aiming to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. “Maybe we can save a life,” she added.