Hey my Lovelies,
It’s Monday, which means I’m back with another Mental Health Awareness post.
In my previous mental health article, I made the point of how The Media plays a role in highlighting the topic of mental health and different kinds and degrees of mental illness. We’ve come a long way as a society to finally give a platform to those who have suffered with their mental health and following closely how it is to live in this time whilst there is still so much stigma.
In this post I’ll speak about:
- How Social Media impacts Mental Health
- The Pros & Cons of Social Media
- How we can use Social Media to further de-stigmatise the view of Mental Health and illnesses
How Social Media impacts Mental Health
It’s no doubt that Social Media has taken over in this last decade! With the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Watsapp and many more Social Media platforms growing and becoming the main source of instant news for people around the world.
In recent years Social Media has been used as a stepping stone to people’s businesses and product advertisements, making it easier for the average citizen to become their own bosses and promote a product to the masses. In the last couple of years, we have seen more and more awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of good mental health and the different experiences people have whilst living with one or more mental disorders.
With the use of hashtags and live location updates, people can find out what you’re doing from one side of the world to the next and in an instance. Other than business, Social Media is used for personal purposes also where you can choose who you want to share images and information with, because of this it has in a way become many individuals source of support for specific mental illnesses or physical impairments. Mental Health Organisations are accessible online, sharing tips for well-being, highlighting how it is to live with specific illnesses and offering support and contact information for anyone that may be dire situations.
Amongst all of the editing and highlight reels shown on Social sites it’s important that as a society we can get to a place of less airbrushing and keeping it real, highlighting mental health and raising more awareness of the importance on the matter.
Positives (Pros) of Social Networking
- Connecting with other people around the world
Using social networks gives you the ability to instantly reach people from anywhere around the world. For many in the chronic illness community, it’s no secret that it’s a very lonely life and so connecting with other alike who understand what you’re going through is comforting
- Easy communication
Now that we’re connected wherever we go, we don’t have to rely on our landlines, answering machines or snail mail to contact somebody. We can simply open up our laptops or pick up our smartphones and immediately start communicating with anyone on platforms like Twitter or one of the many social messaging apps available.
- Instant news and information
Gone are the days of waiting around for the six o’clock news to come on TV or for the delivery boy to bring the newspaper in the morning. If you want to know what’s going on in the world, all you need to do is jump on social media. An added bonus is that you can customize your news and information discovery experiences by choosing to follow exactly what you want.
- Great opportunities for business owners
Business owners and other types of professional organizations can connect with current customers, sell their products and expand their reach using social media. There are actually lots of entrepreneurs and businesses out there that thrive almost entirely on social networks and wouldn’t even be able to operate without it.
- General fun and enjoyment
You have to admit that social networking is just plain fun sometimes. A lot of people turn to it when they catch a break at work or just want to relax at home. Since people are naturally social creatures, it’s often quite satisfying to see comments and likes show up on our own posts, and it’s convenient to be able to see exactly what our friends are up to without having to ask them directly.
Negatives (Cons) of Social Networking
- Information overwhelm
With so many people now on social media tweeting links and posting selfies and sharing YouTube videos, it can become very overwhelming and just as claustrophobic as being in a ram packed room. This can cause additional stress and trigger for those with existing mental illnesses.
- Lack of Privacy
Privacy will always be a big concern when it comes to the use of Social Media. Sharing too much with the public can open up all sorts of problems that sometimes can’t ever be undone.
- Cyberbullying & unfiltered language
For people struggling to fit in with their peers — especially teens and young adults — the pressure to do certain things or act a certain way can be even worse on social media than it is at school or any other offline setting. In some extreme cases, the overwhelming pressure to fit in with everyone posting on social media or becoming the target of a cyberbullying attack can lead to serious stress, anxiety and even depression.
- Online interaction substitution for offline interaction
Since people are now connected all the time and you can pull up a friend’s social profile with a click of your mouse or a tap of your smartphone, it’s a lot easier to use online interaction as a substitute for face-to-face interaction. Some people argue that social media actually promotes antisocial human behaviour.
- Distraction & idle time
People get distracted by Social Media apps and messages they receive which can become very dangerous when carrying out things that need full attention i.e driving or listening to important information. Browsing social media can become addictive and feed into bad habits.
Focus on using social media for all the good points outlined in this article, but be wary of falling victim to the dark side of Social Media & online interactions.
What’s should happen next?
Continue to break the stigma
The rise in mental health portrayal has been for the better. In order to continue breaking the stigma of ill mental health and disorders, people need listening to more and it has to get to a point where speaking about mental illness is just as common as speaking about a broken leg.
What YOU can do
Share your experiences about mental health and start to speak about mental health as openly as the latest gossip. Not everyone has a mental illness but Mental Health is something that we ALL have and so speaking about it shouldn’t be taboo especially when the younger generation is suffering more than ever.
You may not be at a point where you feel as though you can share your experience with mental illness or mental health struggles, but you can try to empathise with those of us who are at a level where we try our hardest to speak up about debilitating disorders that are a part of our reality, if not our own diagnosis then that of a family member where we witness first hand the real deal.
READ Instagram Post Link – HERE
Thank you for reading.
MAY is #MentalHealthAwareness month!
Throughout the month I have shared posts to spread awareness of physical & mental illness and this is something that I continue to do.
Subscribe to my BLOG so you can get notified of my posts.
Previous Mental Health Awareness Posts:
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues mentioned in this podcast, please contact the charities below:
Samaritans – 116 123
Mind/Heads Together/Mental Health Foundation – 0300 123 3393
Young Minds – Text ‘YM’ to 85258 for urgent support
Pinterest – Follow @LauraSpoonie
Etsy – Follow @LauraSpoonieArt
Twitter – Follow @LauraSpoonie
If you enjoy my content –
Thanks for stopping by.