Concerns about the mental health impacts of social media activity are longstanding, and have only intensified in recent years. In 2021, for example, internal research at Instagram made public by Frances Haugen showed the drastic mental health impacts of the photo app on teen users – including increased rates of eating disorders among teen girls – and sparked widespread calls for stronger regulation.But TikTok hosts similar harmful content, and experts warn a host of innovative features of the platform raise unique concerns.
Many people in today’s world live with their smartphones as virtual companions. These devices use electronic social media networks that alert users to updates on friends, favorite celebrities, and global events. Social media has become firmly integrated into a lot of people’s daily lives. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of people in the […]
Scientists warn about the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder for patients discharged from the intensive care unit.
Covid-19 isn’t the first epidemic to cause a domino effect of persisting psychiatric health problems across a population. The current pandemic has been compared to the severe adult respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2014 in Saudi Arabia—both diseases caused by coronaviruses. In an analysis of international studies from the SARS and MERS outbreaks, researchers found that among recovered patients, the prevalence of PTSD was 32.2 percent, depression was 14.9 percent and anxiety disorders was 14.8 percent.
The entire article is worth reading. And from The BMJ probable PTSD in hospital workers too.
Nearly half of intensive care unit (ICU) and anaesthetic staff surveyed for a study reported symptoms consistent with a probable diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression, anxiety, or problem drinking.1
The preprint, produced by researchers at King’s College London, aimed to get a picture of the rates of probable mental health disorders in ICU and anaesthetic staff in six English hospitals during June and July 2020.
The pandemic and the parallel economic crisis have fueled new concern about access to mental health care. An estimated 40% of American adults are have a condition involving mental illness or substance abuse. In June, federal health officials reported nearly 11% percent of adults surveyed seriously considered suicide during the past 30 days.
The most robust predictor of toilet paper stockpiling was the perceived threat posed by the pandemic; people who felt more threatened tended to stockpile more toilet paper. Around 20 percent of this effect was also based on the personality factor of emotionality — people who generally tend to worry a lot and feel anxious are most likely to feel threatened and stockpile toilet paper. The personality domain of conscientiousness — which includes traits of organization, diligence, perfectionism and prudence — was also a predictor of stockpiling.
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. “Personality traits linked to toilet paper stockpiling: High levels of emotionality and conscientiousness are indicators for stockpiling behavior.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200612172227.htm (accessed November 25, 2020).
In case you haven’t noticed it’s happening again. Where’s the toilet paper?
Our politics and culture are mired in fear and tribalism.
The algorithms tracking you on social media are triggered by your negative emotions and amplify the negativity.
Your digital tribe keeps consuming and feeding each other with the same ideology.
We regress further into tribalism and mistrust of those not in your tribe.
Higher social media use is linked with increased anxiety, stress and depression.
Short attention spans deactivate critical thinking skills (skills which are no longer being taught by the intellectual elites in our colleges and universities).
Those of us old enough to know what life was like before social media may remember how exciting Facebook was at its inception. Imagine, the ability to connect with old friends we had not seen for decades! Then, Facebook was a virtual dynamic conversation. This brilliant idea, to connect to others with shared experiences and interests, was strengthened with the advent of Twitter, Instagram and apps.
Things did not remain that simple. These platforms have morphed into Frankenstein’s monsters, filled with so-called friends we’ve never met, slanted news stories, celebrity gossip, self-aggrandizement and ads.
If you’ve spent any amount of time reading this blog, you may be under the impression that side hustles are all about easy money with no downsides. Although I wish that were the truth, the reality is that there is no free lunch. Everything has its price, including lucrative side jobs. In the interest of […]
Published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, the most recent study linking poor mental health conditions to social media use has added even more evidence to back up the theory. The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania intentionally designed their experiment to be more comprehensive than previous studies on the topic. Rather than relying on short-term lab data or self-reported questionnaires, they recruited 143 undergraduate students to share screenshots of their Phone battery screens over a week to collect data on how much they were using social media apps including Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Confirming and extending previous observations, the researchers showed that prolonged social isolation leads to a broad array of behavioral changes in mice. These include increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar mice, persistent fear, and hypersensitivity to threatening stimuli. For example, when encountering a threatening stimulus, mice that have been socially isolated remain frozen in place long after the threat has passed, whereas normal mice stop freezing soon after the threat is removed. These effects are seen when mice are subjected to two weeks of social isolation, but not to short-term social isolation — 24 hours — suggesting that the observed changes in aggression and fear responses require chronic isolation.
Though the work was done in mice, it has potential implications for understanding how chronic stress affects humans.
Get out of the house. Socialize with friends and family. Leave the cell phone at home.
Social media is not social. It’s a serious public health problem for the brainwashed masses with addictive behaviors.