Lets Talk Social Media and Mental Health



It is very rare nowadays to find someone you know that does not know what social media is. Social media is changing how people connect and communicate and, like most things, has positive and negative aspects. Whether you or someone you know struggles with mental health disorders, it is imperative that individuals best understand how to navigate the complexity of using social media and how it can affect the mental aspect of our health.

The history of social media starts with the history of the internet. The idea for the Internet came from technological optimists such as Joseph C. R. Licklider or the military, hoping to maintain communication networks during an enemy attack. The first social media platform was started in 1995 and was Classmates.com. Facebook followed in 2004 (Baran, 2021).

In a 2022 study titled The window to the world for individuals with mental disorders: A qualitative study about social media, discussion ensued about how individuals with mental disorders evaluate social media, what it means to them, and the effects of social media (Küçük Öztürk, & Özdil, 2022). This study indicated that social media was an essential and positive part of the lives of those afflicted with a mental health diagnosis. Social media helped these individuals reach out for support, share their experiences and connect with others who are similar.

However, according to (Lee et al, 2022), the study’s findings suggest that frequent social media use is associated with poorer subsequent mental health for adolescents. This is not the only study involving adolescents and social media use. Findings in another study titled Adolescent Social Media Use: Pitfalls and Promises in Relation to Cybervictimization, Friend Support, and Depressive Symptoms indicated that associations among the variables in the study show a complex picture regarding both positive and negative associations with adolescents’ active social media use, particularly for females (Fredrick et al, 2022).

With social media becoming more prevalent, informing yourself about its uses and how it affects all ages will keep you better informed about your mental health.

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Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health | Bailey Parnell

Kayla Mason
Kayla Mason

Kayla is a thirty-one-year-old grad student who resides in the Northeast with her fiance, Jake.

Kayla has a B.A. in Psychology from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. She is currently enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University in the Master’s in Communication (New Media & Marketing) program.

She is a newsletter editor volunteer at SCORE Western Massachusetts, a company that provides free counseling and resources to small business owners. 
She belongs to the Freelance Union, which provides support through policy advocacy, benefits, resources, and community while raising writers’ voices to ensure they are heard. She also belongs to the National Writers Union. The purpose of the N.W.U. is to promote and protect its members’ rights, interests, and economic advancement, organize writers to improve professional working conditions through collective bargaining actions and provide professional services to members.

Kayla comes from a healthcare background, specializing in caregiving and skills training. She has worked with special needs populations close to her heart, such as dementia and autism communities.

Kayla is disabled and lives with complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, OCD, and a personality disorder. She uses her lived and learned experiences to assist and guide others to resources and success.

Kayla hopes her writing can connect others with themselves, their loved ones, and one another.


References

Baran, S. J. (2021). Introduction to mass communication: Media literacy and culture (11th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Fredrick, S. S., Nickerson, A. B., & Livingston, J. A. (2022). Adolescent Social Media Use: Pitfalls and Promises in Relation to Cybervictimization, Friend Support, and Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Youth & Adolescence51(2), 361–376. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1007/s10964-021-01561-6

Lee, S., Lohrmann, D. K., Luo, J., & Chow, A. (2022). Frequent social media use and its prospective association with mental health problems in a representative panel sample of US adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health70(5), 796–803. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.11.029

Küçük Öztürk, G., & Özdil, K. (2022). The window to the world for individuals with mental disorders: A qualitative study about social media. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing39, 20–27. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1016/j.apnu.2022.03.001