Using Social Media for Healing Instead of Hurting
“As a result of disfigured images on social media…”, “lack of sleep because of phone addiction”, “plastic and fake life of influencers displayed”. These automatic associations with social media platforms live relentlessly in our minds. What can be achieved if we change the course of our thoughts and manage these integrated communication channels differently?
The link between the rise of the virtual world and mental illnesses was brought into parallel in many studies. Hilal Bashir and Shabir Ahmad Bhat report, based on their findings that social media usage poses a danger to the youth. The significant development that the brain endures between the age of 12-19, allows teenagers to foster social-cognitive understanding of the world. These experts conclude that the isolation, potentially caused by social media, disturbes the mental growth of youngsters.
On the contrary, many studies tend to prove a vague or non-existent connection between social media usage and mental health problems. The research summarised in the paper “Social Media Use and Mental Health among Young Adults” suggests that individual cases differ, therefore the effect of networking platforms can vary from person to person.
This research, conducted over several years creates a vague guideline on how to handle social media. Should we detach from our digital reality or should we integrate it into our everyday lives in a competent way?
Besides advertising businesses, sharing ideas and collecting funds for numerous reasons, social platforms are also used to measure mental health situations. Ironically, the possible root of the problem is used to help find a solution for it. Regardless, the undeniable reality of their existence urges the users to profit from them: Trying to heal from them, instead of being hurt by them.
The algorithms of social platforms rely on the users’ behaviour in most cases. For instance, the method of TikTok follows the “retention” — that is, whether a user comes back — and “time spent”, explains an article from the New York Times. Each For You Page is personalised to a high extent for every individual account holder. Consequently, the management and mindset of the user directly affects the content they are offered in the future. This creates a loophole process that regenerates itself.
Following this notion, a positive and supportive attitude of users result in an algorithm that advocates videos with a similar mentality. Large enough public succeeding in setting this approach, more of these valuable videos can go viral at the end, helping to heal instead of hurt the society.
Many underestimate the power of social media and global interconnection. Trends like the favoured self-love- or the gut-healing trend are great examples of healthy content going viral as a result of people popularising it with the appreciation for quality knowledge. Even though the cross-examination of useful ideas circulating on the internet is an immensely complicated responsibility, it must be done. The help of double-checking and relying on expert opinion can be a secure guideline. Furthermore, assuming that the content contains false information until it is proven can be a great way to deal with the unlimited amount of data reaching individuals these days.
With the verification of a content creator on any platform, let's heal instead of hurt each other. Like, comment, share valuable information. Let's make use of this strange computer-generated era every second the “earthly” life is overshadowed.
Edited by: Tom Culf
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