Professor Cheryl L. Elsmore
27 February 2013
Mental Health Awareness
People tampering on social networking sites are unaware of the effect it has on their mental health. According to Webster’s Dictionary, social media is “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)” The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) strongly differentiates mental illness from mental health, defining mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” People should avoid social networking sites to protect their mental health.
In the year of 2008, the University of California Los Angeles studies showed that with continued exposure to social networking sites, the brain rewires itself, distributing an altered prefrontal cortex. This phenomena has been proved true through the unusual behavior frequently erupting from people that use social media. Numerous mental issues have been studied such as the inability to have in-person conversations, needs for instant gratification, self-centered personalities, and other disorderly brain issues. Scanning the social media sites without commenting can cause deep feelings of being disconnected from the rest of the world, otherwise known as depression. People using these sites are the victims to feelings of depression which co-interferes with low self-confidence and eating disorders. Currently, the 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is evaluating the disorder they call “Internet Addiction Disorder”.
Depression, the abiding feeling of being alone, is one of the hugest mental issues with social media. Social media entices your brain to believe that you are never alone and that there is always a friend there beside you. A large portion of people may have surprisingly forgotten that it is unnatural to always be around a friend. It is possible for the brain to have lost its ability to find peace in the company of being alone. There is great importance to relaxing in the company of solitude in order for the brain to exercise a state of peacefulness without others having to be around for that mental comfort. This mental practice will develop a person’s maturity through self-reliance as people cannot always satisfy what a person needs to stabilize their mental peace. In this sense, it seems more intelligent to meet other people for in person conversations to exercise social integration which will also reduce the probable percentage of suicidal emotions as being alone will do that. It is equally important as well to be exercising personal solitude, and social networking interrupts this time which you should be using to enjoy and strengthen your inner self. Social media has created the surrounding where people believe they are surrounded by many different types of people when truly they may be by themselves in uncrowded rooms. Instead of checking Twitter, Instagram or Facebook when stuck in a tight situation that is simply baffling, a healthier choice is exercising in any type of outdoor activity as social networking requires brain power while outdoor activities pump more blood to the brain, increasing mood and the mental as well as physical state of well-being. Another psychological issue with social networking is the inability to stop. Once a person is hooked, they can’t help but stay on for as long as they possibly can. This can be proved through the problem of increased absences from schools and the problem teachers have trying to keep their students off their cellular devices. So, why is that? The reason that people cannot help but stay on their social networking accounts all day is because social networking...
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