Social Media Use Safe for Mental Health, Unless You Post This

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Social Media Use Safe for Mental Health

The popularity of social media platforms shows no signs of slowing down. Every now and then, a new network emerges, and millions of people around the globe have yet another account to visit regularly.

Figures show [1] that the number of social networking users worldwide will reach 2.95 billion by 2020, about a third of the world’s population. In 2016, about 78% of the US population had a profile on at least one social media network.

Regular use of these websites has been linked with poor mental health in many studies. The latest study showed that’s not the case.

In fact, these platforms affect a person’s mental health only if they tend to publish one specific type of posts. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Social Media And Mental Health

We are swamped with reports that Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and other similar websites are bad news for our mental health. One study found that out of all social media platforms, Instagram is the worst for a person’s mental health, particularly among teens and young adults.

Scientists from two universities in Florida made an interesting discovery which showed that danger of social media website isn’t as severe as we are led to believe.

The study was carried out by Chloe Berryman and her team at the University of Central Florida together with scientists from the Stetson University.

They examined 467 young adults who were asked questions about the frequency of social media use, the importance of social media in their lives, and their tendency to engage in vaguebooking. The term vaguebooking refers to the act of posting content that is unclear but seems alarming to get attention.

You probably come across these posts on a daily basis, especially on Twitter where some people feel the urge to tweet how disappointed they are, hate something, someone made them angry, and so on. Many Twitter users found these posts incredibly annoying.

In order to get the most accurate results, scientists took into consideration different parameters such as general mental health symptoms, loneliness, suicidal ideation, social anxiety, and decreased empathy.

Findings, published in the Psychiatric Quarterly[2], revealed that social media use wasn’t predicative of poor mental health. On the other hand, posting attention-seeking updates proved to be linked to suicidal ideation.

Scientists explain that engaging in vaguebooking could be a warning sign of serious issues.

Social Media Affecting

Misplaced Concerns

Scientists concluded the study explaining that with the exception of vaguebooking, concerns regarding social media use may be misplaced. The connection between vaguebooking and poor mental health shouldn’t come as such as a shocker.

It’s simple if a person feels the need to tweet or share a status update describing how lonely, mad, or sad they are it is obvious they are suffering and cannot process their emotions adequately.

This happens even if a person feels there’s nothing wrong at all. Although these tweets are annoying to most people, they could be a cry for help[3] that others simply ignore.

On the other hand, if people turn to social media in order to connect with others, it isn’t such a problem as we are led to believe. Scientists don’t deny that social media platforms have nothing to do with teen depression and poor mental health, but things are more complex.

If a person is depressed or experiences some other problem, it is logical things they see online will contribute to their condition too.

Conclusion

Scientists from Florida found that social media use is not associated with poor mental health if a person uses these websites to connect with others.

Sharing attention-seeking updates, i.e., vaguebooking is strongly associated with suicidal ideation and poor mental health.

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Author

Contributor : Dr. Ahmed Zayed ()

This Article Has Been Published on November 7, 2017 and Last Modified on December 12, 2018

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain Shams University. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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