Former TV news reporter helping people live 'Unfiltered' in social media age

Social media is a great way to connect with friends, colleagues, relatives and even strangers.

But these same networking sites can also make us feel lonely, jealous and depressed. It's why one former television news reporter is trying to flip the script.

"As I was giving speeches and doing YouTube videos, people would be sharing with me that they felt like they needed to sign off all of their apps, because every time they went online they would feel less than," Jessica Abo said. "They would see someone else's post and think, 'Oh my gosh, that person has such a bigger, better life than I do,' and then they would spend the rest of their day feeling upset."

Research has backed what Abo learned from her viewers and even her own life. A 2017 study by The Royal Society of Public Health found 7 in 10 teens and young adults said Instagram made them feel worse about body image.

"We all sort of get caught up in that," Abo said. "That person is living such a glamorous life, even though they may have told us in person 10 minutes earlier all the things that went wrong in their day."

Abo's newly released book "Unfiltered: How to be as happy as you look on Social Media", is a collection of interviews, research and personal stories that investigates what makes people fall into the trap of compare and despair.

"Are you not happy in your career, in your relationships, in your level of community activism?" she said. "I wrote this book with action plans and tips and resources and links. I think when people open up and we're vulnerable, that's really when you develop deep, meaningful connections with people. Most of the time people are logging onto their phones because they're craving human connection."
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