Social Media – The Rise of Mental Health Problems?

After reading an article in Elle’s March issue (I’m a sucker for my annual fashion subscription), it seems to me that even the fashion magazines are picking up on the connections between the digital age, and our own mental health. To quote Elle directly about some of the questions we are facing are ‘Will our jobs be replaced by apps? Are we saving enough money? Working smartly enough? Should we be building a personal brand? Investing in likes? Or rebelling against it all?’.

I gotta say, this article (even though aimed at young women, and asking whether anxiety and depression is becoming the norm for us in that category) is hitting a nerve for me. Even the swamp of rhetorical questions the article fires off, is giving me some form of worry.

From a personal view, it’s quite a struggle in a way. Should I be rebelling against it all? There’s parts of me that love the idea of social media being great for my business, being great for connecting with other like minded folk. But then again, I’ve just spent 7 hours solid on my laptop and not reeeaaallllyyy communicating in the real world. Is it the balance? Or are we onto something here?

I know that social media can be a wonderful tool in helping yourself, helping others and being a great virtual planet of good things. But how do we know that the digital age we are in, is compatible with us as people? It can play on our self esteem, it can be used to find out personal information, and are we really wanting all that information…all of the time?

What do you guys think?

 

Sending all my love to you, and as always keep real! ❤

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4 thoughts on “Social Media – The Rise of Mental Health Problems?

  1. Interesting topic! I could write an essay on what I think about this, but I’ll try and keep it succinct: like most things, social media has a lot of duality: it’s a great way to stay in touch with old and new friends far and wide, or for smaller business to increase their reach, but it has also encouraged a culture to ‘publicise’, allowing big corporations to invade every aspect of our private lives. I like how you knowingly, or unknowingly, go against this with your mantra of ‘keeping it real’ since very few things are still real and genuine when our hyper-competitive society makes PR specialists from us all. I’ve had quite a few friends and acquaintances turn their back on social media due to the extra anxiety/pressure this creates: constantly being confronted with everyone’s seemingly ‘perfect’ life and having the feeling you have to match is not a road to a happy mind. However, I don’t think it’s all bad – I’m sure social media has done a lot of good in individual cases, but as a ‘movement’ (if I can call it that), I think it is going down a dangerous path. Don’t neglect the importance of ‘physical presence’ with your friends and family and if you feel that talking to them (or a therapist) is a step too far, there are a lot of really great specialised online outlets where you will find a willing ear. Perhaps something for a next blog post, Kimberley? 😉

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    1. Loving your reply Xavier! (I’ve been waiting a while to email you as it’s a very long reply back!)
      I definitely agree with you. It’s an interesting topic to discuss. It’s not all bad, if you use your social media platforms in a light hearted and a more positive way. It can consume some people though, so I see the down sides concerning mental health more. It’s a slippery slope that I’m unsure we know how to process. There hasn’t been enough research on social media and our health- so there isn’t much we can work on.
      Definitely will be doing that for a next blog post!!

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  2. No worries! I think conventional social media needs to drastically change its course, however, I’m doubtful that will happen especially if we consider that the main conversation that seems to happen is how to make social media profitable, which will likely only increase their focus on advertising etc. Social media needs to become ‘personal’ again and I know there’s quite a few smaller start ups that try and do that. If this is something that interests you, I could dig in my mailbox and forward a few invites/references. You’re also very true on the lack of (meaningful) research on the affects of social media and mental health, which I am sure there are – I’m thinking anxiety, cyber bulling, etc. I know there’s a PhD in there somewhere – if you’re interested. 😉

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