From my research about social media and mental health:
Many articles that I have read claim that social media does not have a direct effect on mental health. Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter may provide as an enhancer to already preexisting characteristics or mental health disorders that eventually could create a bigger problem. Many researchers believe a contributing factor to these mental illness problems (such as depression, social anxiety, and addiction) is the misuse of these websites by younger adolescence who are not fully mature enough to acknowledge consequences. Many also believe that it is the user who determines what they get out of these social media websites. Since technically there isn’t any successful way to tell if a user is “mature enough” to handle themselves on these websites many will argue that it is the websites fault for having poor control over who accesses the website and it is up to the website to monitor what is put out there.
From what I found here is a list of different mental illnesses and potential arguments I have read about them.
Anxiety: A common argument would be that social media causes social anxiety. People get so used to talking online to others that they loose the ability to communicate face-to-face. A counter argument to that would be that social media provides a forum for people who already have social anxiety to help build confidence and talk to others who deal with the same thing.
Mood Disorders: Some might say that social media causes mood disorders. People can get so consumed by what is going on with the internet that when they are not on it they show signs of hostility or sadness.
Eating Disorders: People have argued that social media promotes the wrong body image that ends up causing eating disorders in young adolescence. Another example would be that cyber bullying on social media websites have gotten so bad that the victims develop eating disorders.
Impulse Control/ Addiction Disorders: There are a lot of cases revolving around social media addictions and how it is extremely easy to be consumed. A counter argument would be that a person can become addicted to anything and has a choice of moderation but something in them latches on to an action.
Personality Disorder: The new term cat-fishing comes from personality disorders and becoming obsession with having the ability to be whoever they want to be on the internet. They have a way of creating pages and accounts on social media websites that enables them to interact with the public.
Depression: A common argument revolves around the fact that sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram create a false sense of whats popular and might cause others to feel depressed when they see others doing “cooler” and “better” things then them.
A main disagreement that I have seen while researching my topic, would be more or less considered the blame game. There are a lot of different opinions out there about who is responsible for cyber bullying, internet harassment, and cat-fishing that have created an outcome of different mental illnesses that could even result into suicide. Obviously these are big problems that need to be addressed but I have not really found a common theme about whether it is the users fault, the websites fault, or the supervisors fault. It seems like everyone has information and facts that support what they believe is right. This makes it a little hard sometimes to establish black and white fact from stretched opinions.
I claim that social media websites do not create mental illnesses
because users have a choice what they put out on the internet or how they react to content posted.
because maturity can determine how content is absorbed
because mental illness is subjective
because mental illness’s differ from person to person