Technology has changed how we interact with each other. Social networks only distance us from other people at the key press distance. This helps to make some sense that they have more social support. But for others, it can increase isolation and depression.
Researchers examine how social networks affect mental health. They find that what you meet with and what you are on the Internet may mean a difference between a useful and a harmful effect.
Use Your Time Wisely
Entering social networks can lead you in many ways. Active interaction and communication with other people on the Internet can help you get social support – online and offline. But a lot of hours of passive scrolling of soothing content can lead to the fact that you break into negative thoughts and feelings.
Increased use of social networks is associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. But it is not always clear what is the first reason: More time spent on the Internet, causes symptoms or their consequences?
Depression or anxiety can make you isolated. Spending more time on the Internet may be a sign that you are away from others.
The study also found that some types of online activities can worsen your mental health. Passive observation of what others do online can make you feel more isolated. You may think that you lose something or remain aloof. Or it can make you think that other people have a better life than you.
What you click affects what you see next. If you click on things that concern you, you will most likely see more of these things. Repeated scrolling of disturbing content can reinforce your stress and anxiety.
Teenagers are particularly prone to the risk of social networks. The research revealed the connection between the peculiarities of the use of social networks by teenagers and mental health problems.
“There has been a growth in social media use, smartphone use, and teens’ lives being online over the last 10 years,” says Dr. Katherine Keyes at Columbia University.The level of teenage depression and suicide has also increased over the past 10 years. Researchers are exploring the role of social networks in this growth.
The survey found that the use of digital media alone does not explain the recent increase in depression and suicide. Other factors should also play a role. To find out what exactly, additional research is needed.
According to Kiz, the most important thing is how teenagers use social networks, and how their stay on the Internet affects their social networks and activities outside the network.
In other words, the time spent on the Internet takes the time you could spend with others, be physically active, or do a choboe. These are things that help protect your mental health.
There are countless people and communities on the Internet. “Many important and useful connections can be established on the Internet,” says Kiz. “This is especially relevant for teenagers who have a more marginal identity. Sometimes they can find a community and connections they can’t get in everyday life.”
But the digital world can also give you harmful behavior. Excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs and disorders of food behavior sometimes ominously show that everyone is doing or wants to do.
People also see advertisements about tobacco, canabis and alcohol consumption on the Internet. Dr. Patricia Kawazes-Reg of the Washington University in St. Louis studies the impact of advertising on the use of psychoactive substances among teenagers. Her research has shown that even a passive online review of tobacco advertising increases the likelihood of tobacco products being used. The same trends were found for alcohol and canabies.
“My concern is that social media can make substance use behaviors seem normal,” Cavazos-Rehg explains. That can affect both teens and adults.
“We’ve seen a lot of messages online about ‘wine-mom’ culture that link alcohol use with ‘mommy needs a break at the end of the day,’” Keyes says.These reports link alcohol with positive care about themselves.” But using alcohol to overcome stress is not a healthy strategy to overcome stress. In recent years, there has been a higher rate of alcohol consumption among women than among men.
Kawazos-Reg investigates ways of informing about the risks of the use of psychoactive substances in social networks. She also examines how to obtain quality information about treatment for people who discuss mental health and substance use issues on the Internet.
Seek Out Help
Social networks can be a tool for improving your mental health. You can search for health information, learn about the experience of other people, or find options for treatment.
“We have found that social media can be very useful for people who feel stigmatization of face-to-face recovery,” says Kawazos-Reg. “In addition, social media can help those who are interested in or ready to start treatment, but initially wants to get advice from their colleagues on the Internet.”
Her team investigated what prevented people with symptoms of depression to seek treatment. They found that many people are experiencing their stigmatization. Others have problems accessing or paying for treatment.
Her team is looking for ways to reduce these barriers through social networks. They have created tools to detect postins in social networks that may indicate that someone needs treatment from food disorder. They also created an supplement for the treatment of teenagers with disorders of food behavior. The team is working to cover teenagers in need of treatment, also by means of Internet ads.
Remember, you do not need to fight mental health problems alone. “There is a common misperception that we can cope with our mental health problems on our own, and that they are not so serious to require medical care,” says Kawazes-Reg. “But this is a false idea.” Do not hesitate to contact a medical officer or mental health specialist.