What could be causing the increase of depression and suicide?
Depression is running rampant in Gen Z and Gen Y with people dying by suicide once every 40 seconds. Courson believes there’s one major contributor as to why there are “123 suicides per day” in the U.S.
“The data show this is partially due to social media," Courson said. "When we compare our behind the scenes with other people’s highlight reels and do so at unfair time intervals. We get swept up in a whirl of illusions. All that comparison steals our joy.”
The cure to social media grief is to “scroll less and live more,” he advised, without worrying about what others online are doing.
“When it comes to social media it would do us well to take it with a grain of salt and not get so worked up about it. We should take a whole lot more things a whole lot less seriously. After all, angels can fly because they take themselves lightly,” he quipped.
McManus echoed Courson and pointed to the pressure for young people to feel like they have to be perfect because mistakes now have the potential to go viral and ruin someone's life.
Another factor leading to being overwhelmed and anxious is the amount of information that people have access to, McManus suggested.
"I think the human spirit, our psychological construction, we're not really prepared to take endless amounts of the psychological barrage that we now have through massive information, social media,” he said. “I think you have 12 year olds who are handling the emotional weight that full-blown adults would never have experienced 100 years ago.
"The level of trauma and challenge and uncertainty is weighing so hard on our generation, on our culture, that 8 year olds are having to take on the emotional weight of things that you wouldn't even know if you were president.”
He maintained that the average American today has more information than a president did just 50 or 100 years ago.
"We're more aware of what's going on all over the world than any world leader during World War II. This is what children are dealing with, this is what 22 year olds are dealing with,” he lamented.