ATTENTION PARENTS – (What that does to the brain, we don’t know…)

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.

What TikTok does to your mental health: ‘It’s embarrassing we know so little’ — https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/30/tiktok-mental-health-social-media

All social media is not bad.

But some platforms are worse than others.

Some earlier posts:

Social media use can lead to low quality sleep and harm mental health — Health Secrets of a SuperAger

More Social Media Use Linked to More Depression and Anxiety in Teens

Quit Social Media – Dr. Cal Newport

I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down!

Twitter and Facebook ‘harming children’s development’ – Telegraph

Fatal Fungi

This lethal lineup of mushrooms contains amatoxins, which include alpha, beta, and gamma amanitin. Amatoxin poisoning accounts for more than 90 percent of all deaths resulting from mushroom poisoning worldwide. Part of what makes them so deadly is that they can easily be confused with other, completely edible mushrooms. Death caps, for instance, can look much like straw and Gypsy mushrooms. The various destroying angels can be mistaken for button, meadow, and horse mushrooms. In Cleveland, Gholam recently treated a patient who had eaten a deadly Amanita mushroom he found in his yard after a plant identification app on his phone identified the mushroom as an edible variety. It almost killed him.

The mushrooms’ amatoxins are easily absorbed through the gastrointestinal tracts once they’ve been eaten. From there, the toxins head to the kidneys and, in particular, the liver, which is one of the most important organs in the body for making proteins. Amatoxins work by blocking a key enzyme involved in making new proteins, called RNA polymerase type II. In the liver, blocking this enzyme causes a cascade of trouble that results in cell death and tissue necrosis. While some of the toxin ultimately gets flushed in urine, some gets transported out of the liver with bile acids, where they end up back in the intestines for the process to begin again—in what’s called an enterohepatic cycle.

After ingestion, symptoms only appear six to 24 hours later, once significant damage has accumulated. Then the poisoning proceeds through three distinct phases. First, there’s gastrointestinal distress—marked by excruciating abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the urine—and can sometimes be accompanied by rapid heartbeat, low blood sugar, and dehydration. All that can last for 12 to 36 hours. Then, there’s the second, “latent” phase, when symptoms quiet down as liver and kidney damage set in at about 72 hours. In this phase, a person may be lulled into thinking they’re in the clear, potentially causing them to decline emergency medical care that could save their life.

In the three-to-five days after ingestion, things go downhill, with abrupt liver and multi-organ failure. Some patients end up needing liver transplants. Fatality rates vary but sometimes range between 10 and 20 percent, though some studies have found higher rates.

There are no specific treatments for amatoxin poisoning.

Ohio foragers are accidentally poisoning themselves with lethal mushrooms — https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/10/ohio-foragers-are-accidentally-poisoning-themselves-with-lethal-mushrooms/

“…a plant identification app on his phone identified the mushroom as an edible variety.”

Go ahead and search for the phrase “mushroom identification app” in your favorite search engine.

Foraging for wild mushrooms is a perfect example of you don’t know what you don’t know even if an app on your phone leads to believe you know.

Social media use can lead to low quality sleep and harm mental health — Health Secrets of a SuperAger

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 […]

Social media use can lead to low quality sleep and harm mental health — Health Secrets of a SuperAger

Thank you Tony.

Got Kids? READ THIS

Beyond just online platforms, the new survey finds that the vast majority of teens have access to digital devices, such as smartphones (95%), desktop or laptop computers (90%) and gaming consoles (80%). And the study shows there has been an uptick in daily teen internet users, from 92% in 2014-15 to 97% today. In addition, the share of teens who say they are online almost constantly has roughly doubled since 2014-15 (46% now and 24% then).These are some of the findings from an online survey of 1,316 teens conducted by the Pew Research Center from April 14 to May 4, 2022

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022 — https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/

Remember my earlier post I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down! This earlier post has additional links to other posts on the topic of social media addiction.

Technology addictions, also commonly known as digital addictions or internet addictions, are often overlooked due to the acceptance that society has placed on using digital devices. Technology addictions often go unnoticed by loved ones because the addicted individual may appear as though they are tending to something important such as work-related tasks on their digital device, when in reality hiding behind the screen is something extraneous. When a technological problem does develop and is noticed it is often not viewed as being an imminent risk akin to an addiction to alcohol or drugs because not only is it more acceptable, but it is also not viewed as being acute or deadly. Despite these beliefs, pathological technology use can indeed be pervasive and detrimental to one’s health and well being. In a growing digital age there is a rapid expansion of digital use and subsequent potential for problematic pathological technology use to ensue.

https://www.familyaddictionspecialist.com/blog/the-6-most-common-types-of-technology-addiction

The link provided above is neither an endorsement or evidence of a previous or existing patient-therapist relationship.

Although I will admit to a quasi-addiction to You Tube for new music.

I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down!

Compared with participants who used less than 120 minutes per day of social media, for example, young adults who used more than 300 minutes per day were 2.8 times as likely to become depressed within six months.The study, which will be published online Dec. 10 and is scheduled for the February 2021 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is the first large, national study to show a link between social media use and depression over time.

University of Arkansas. “Increased social media use linked to developing depression.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201210074722.htm (accessed December 13, 2020).

Journal Reference

  1. Brian A. Primack, Ariel Shensa, Jaime E. Sidani, César G. Escobar-Viera, Michael J. Fine. Temporal Associations Between Social Media Use and Depression. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.09.014

A few more posts for your reading pleasure.

Living in The Matrix – More Isolation, Fear, and Tribalism

Executive Summary

  • 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.

The Matrix is already here: Social media promised to connect us, but left us isolated, scared and tribal — https://theconversation.com/the-matrix-is-already-here-social-media-promised-to-connect-us-but-left-us-isolated-scared-and-tribal-148799

I’ve written about the dangers of social media many times:

More Social Media Use Linked to More Depression and Anxiety in Teens

Quit Social Media – Dr. Cal Newport

The Pleasures of Life without Social Media

The Potential Harm of Social Media

I’ve bulleted the highlights of the Matrix article but the entire article is well worth reading. What truth?

COVID-19 – Coronavirus Deep Dive

What were the demographics of the forty-one admitted 2019-nCoV patients included in this study?

  • Most were men (30/41 patients; 73%)

  • Median age = 49 years

  • 13/41 patients (32%) had underlying disease (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, COPD, cancer)

What kind of symptoms did the forty-one admitted 2019-nCoV patients included in this study have?

  • Fever (40/41 patients; 98%)

  • Cough (31/41 patients; 76%)

  • Myalgia or Fatigue (18/41 patients; 44%)

  • These three symptoms were the major ones. There were patients who had sputum production, headache, hemoptysis, and diarrhea; however, these symptoms were less common.

  • Dyspnea occurred in 55% later in the course, with mean time to onset of dyspnea at 8 days.

Here’s a nice short summary of a recent study published in Lancet.  The balance of the source article can be found at emDOCs.net

And if you want to maintain your sanity regarding this emerging infectious disease threat avoid social media. 

Social media, for all its many ills and its few redeeming qualities, identifies idiots.

Can we turn serious for a minute? Are you on social media, talking to people that you don’t know about things that you know nothing about? If so, what are you doing? There’s a great big wonderful wide world out there. Why not trying exploring it? Talk to people. See things. Read stuff that is longer than 14 words.

Berry Tramel: Garth Brooks’ Barry Sanders jersey brings out the idiots, thinking he was endorsing Bernie Sanders