Pulse.ng logo
Go

Mental Health and Technology Can social media lead to depression in teens, young adults?

Social media doesn't have to cause a feeling of sadness and dejection if you don't let it and rather choose to dwell on the positive sides of it.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
You may want to reflect on your social media usage as studies have suggested that it may increase your chances of developing depression and anxiety. play

You may want to reflect on your social media usage as studies have suggested that it may increase your chances of developing depression and anxiety.

(Cultural Marxism)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Social media is easily a two-edged sword, capable of swinging in both ways - good and evil.

Several reports coming from Europe are seeing teens having mental breakdown for different reasons emanating from being exposed to the social media world that could lead to depression.

What is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.

Causes

Genetic, biological, social, psychological and environmental factors have contributed to this clinical disease condition.

Social media can fall under environmental and psychosocial factors.

Teens and young adults are exposed to all sorts when they get online, and it’s not always positive vibes. Those who are vulnerable and probably have self-esteem challenges can get downcast when bullied bullied online by peers.

Some feel inadequate when they see how their peers are getting by online. play

Some feel inadequate when they see how their peers are getting by online.

(Socialbarrel.com)

 

These bullies and what they do led to the internet term called ‘Trolling’, which is very rampant on Twitter, something the network has tried to kick out of its platform.

Instagram is also another ground where teens and young adults that could lead to depression in teens and young adults.

A lot of make-believe goes on there which  kind of ‘oppresses’ some who have not reached the seeming status of his peers, leaving them anxious and with the ‘fear of missing out (FOMO)' syndrome.

Bullying and trolling is also rampant on the image and video sharing platform which contributes to the state of depression.

Out of five social networks included in a recent survey, YouTube received the highest marks for health and wellbeing and was the only site that received a net positive score by respondents. Twitter came in second, followed by Facebook and then Snapchat—with Instagram coming up last.

People with self-esteem issues get easily downcast. play

People with self-esteem issues get easily downcast.

(Calibre Computer Solutions)

 

There were certainly some benefits associated with social networking. All of the sites received positive scores for self-identity, self-expression, community building and emotional support, for example.

YouTube also got high marks for bringing awareness of other people’s health experiences, for providing access to trustworthy health information and for decreasing respondents’ levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

The networks except YouTube also got a negative report for their impact on sleep quality, fear of missing out, body image and bullying, which are associated with increases in depression and anxiety.

play Social media companies have a role to play in fighting depression among its young users. (lipstiq.com)

 

Previous studies have shown that spending hours on social media checking out how some of your friends are doing fine, enjoying vacations, seeming happier than ever can make young people feel a bit of frustration that others are doing better than they are promoting a ‘compare and despair’ attitude.”

With photoshopped bodies and all on Instagram, it makes some women feel inadequate.

As one survey respondent wrote, “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’.”

Possible solutions

The Royal Society, an independent scientific academy recommends pop-up messages that indicate to a user how heavy he is using social media apps.

For photos, it suggests the social media companies try to let users know photos that are digitally manipulated, as well as help out in reaching those who may need help with mental health issues which they could identify through suggestive posts of the users - something that’s been suggested to Instagram, providing an option to allow users flag posts that may suggest a user needs help.

There is also the call for government organizing seminars to teach safe use of social media and also training professionals in mental health practice to be trained in digital and social media as well as advocating for more research to be conducted on the effects of social media on mental health.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.