Recently, Facebook-the world’s leading automated social media website faced the flak and came under scathing attack for tampering with the newsfeeds of its users. Facebook wanted to exploit the database for conducting research on ‘emotional control’. The ethics and moral issues concerning the experimentation have brought Facebook under public scrutiny.
Now, regardless of whether you support Facebook’s initiative or are against the experimentation, it nevertheless opens up the floodgates for debating on an issue almost everyone-that web-based social media networks have the potential to influence an individual’s mental health. This assertion which is yet to be conclusively proved may come as nothing sort of a revelation for everyone having a stake in maintaining the psychological wellbeing of the members of a community. Administrators of different online social networks and those involved in carrying out R&D in information technology are doing their best to exploit technology to stimulate interaction between individuals and communities.
Social Media may be beneficial for psychosomatic health
There are reports and claims that interacting and communicating on social media can make one feel socially connected especially if that individual is unable to socialize in real life due to unavoidable circumstances. There are many people who’re unable to mix and interact with others because of their diffident nature. And then again, there are people living in remote areas or inhospitable regions who hardly get opportunities to intermingle their willingness notwithstanding.
Furthermore, there are physically and/or mentally challenged individuals and senior citizens who’re more often than not cut-off from the mainstream of society. Social media comes as a blessing for these aforementioned sects of people who’re otherwise unable to socialize with their peers in the traditional ways. Socializing with their peer groups or with those who go online recurrently via the various automated social media platforms will not only keep them mentally active but also contribute towards better management of mental health disorders including anxiety or personality disorders and depression.
Information boom is helping to bust myths about mental diseases
We’re all living in an age of information technology where most of us have far greater access to a near infinite database than we ever had. People are exchanging and sharing more and more data about almost every conceivable issue or aspect including of course facets on mental health. Widespread and open discussion on issues concerning mental disorders like schizophrenia, nervous breakdowns, and bipolar disorder are held on social media that were once considered taboo.
Consequently, the prejudices and myths surrounding mental ailments and illnesses are slowly being busted. Increased information sharing and aggressive social media canvassing or campaigns are enabling online users to have a better or improved understanding about the factors affecting one’s state of mind. The automated social networking platforms are playing a key role in helping mentally ill people to take advantage of medical services and link up with institutions that provide treatment and care. It can be convincingly concluded that multiple mediums of automated social interaction platforms are having a considerable impact on general mental health that is largely positive.
Image credit: Diana Johanna Velasquez