profesionales de las RRPP

The paradigms shown by networks affect mental health

Comparing our lives to those on display on the Internet, difficulty getting more “likes” from acquaintances, or getting perfect bodies as some apps offer are all examples of situations that cause anxiety or depression. We know it poses a public health problem.

According to research by the Wall Street Journal, 32% of women who feel bad about their bodies say Instagram makes them feel worse. Younger generations tend to define their concept of happiness through the scrolls they make every day on social networks. They see what other people are doing, what they eat, where they travel, and they take it as the happiness paradigm that they tend to imitate, even if they are strangers to them.

Cases such as the suicide of 14-year-old Molly Russell have fueled the debate over the use of social networks in the UK. The father discovered that six months before his daughter died, he had reacted to more than 2,000 social media posts about self-harm, depression or suicide.

The question is whether there is power to blame social networks or whether it is an individual responsibility to decide the type of content we consume.

Is it necessary to regulate the publication of content on social networks? Responses in one direction or another will abound, as well as questioning whether influencers have any responsibility in posting content and blaming campaigns created by brands that praise social stereotypes.

It did not go unnoticed by Frances Haugen, a former Meta employee, that research conducted by the company in October of this year showed that Instagram consumption is causing problems with mental health, body image, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts. According to internal research, 13.5% of teens said Instagram worsened their suicidal thoughts, while 17% of respondents said it worsened their eating disorder.

It would be naive to think that the use of social networks will regulate or change the way users use them in the short term, but one way to reduce these problems is to include tips on protecting mental health, especially on social networks. products with potential adverse effects for it.

One of the nascent efforts towards this goal is the global movement led by influencers and celebrities to talk about mental health issues. Let’s remember gymnast Simone Biles at the Olympic Games, who as her favorite to win several competitions decided to retire due to mental health issues. Another example is Tiktok’s recent strategy to show users’ commitment to the topic through the hashtags #mentalHealth, #selfcare, #stressrelief, #healingjourney, and #wedorecover. the testimonies of people who have had a mental health problem.

There are also platforms that aim to bring authenticity and transparency to social networks, such as the French app Be Real, which has been downloaded 28 million times since its creation in 2019. This application aims to show a more real life on social networks with a notification. it is sent at random times every day, it activates the rear and front cameras of the mobiles so that in two minutes without filters the user can schedule the photo or share what he is doing at the moment.

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