Partial Draft

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




3 thoughts on “Partial Draft”

  1. Elisey: Katie (in our section) has some interesting articles on social media and envy. I don’t know if you consider “envy” in your broad “mental health” category or not.
    Speaking of this: I ‘m wondering if you can talk about this topic with depth if you try to cover too many mental health disorders. Personality disorder (I’m not even sure what that is) and mood disorders (couldn’t depression be a “mood” disorder) seem to cover such a vague range of issues that we may just get lost in all of these “disorders” instead of really understanding an argument you are trying to make about social media.

    Has any scholar ever said that a social media site — let’s take Facebook, since it has been researched more than other sites — CAUSES mental illness? You claim it doesn’t CAUSE mental illness, but I’m wondering, who would argue against that. I think it may exacerbate a mental illness like depression, but CAUSE it?

    My first bit of feedback would be to ask you to narrow your focus on a specific mental disorder or two — depression, for example, and look at the research that has been done on social media and depression. Then figure out what role social facebook or other social media plays in depression. It doesn’t cause depression, but it may do other things — accelerate it? Maybe in some cases it helps alleviate depression? (I don’t know). But my advice is to dig deeper into one or two concrete problems, rather than cover a broad list of problems superficially.
    Look for sign up sheet for conferences after Thursday’s draft is due. Hope to talk to you soon.

  2. Elise: Did you see my comments on earlier research posts about emailing the librarians? Did you do this?
    They would help you find highly relevant articles for your #6 and #7 research posts, which are missing in your blog.

  3. I think that you make very good points about people choosing to participate in the internet, I just think that the counter claims to this are also very good. So as long as you have evidence to support your claim it will be great!

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