Throughout this course, we have discussed articles that debate the benefits and detriments of social media in areas of education, politics, culture, professional lives, and even personal lives. However, in “6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health” contributor Alice G. Walton examines social media’s effects on mental health. The short but sweet article reviews a few recent studies on the negative effects of social media on kids and teens that pose risks to adults.
Walton, a Ph.D. graduate in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, is no stranger to such mental health research. After graduating from CUNY’s Graduate Center in New York City, Walton focused her interest in writing to health, medicine, psychology, and neuroscience. In this article, she associates issues such as addiction, sadness, and delusion to be some of the reasons research is showing that social media may be damaging to our mental health.
Numerous surveys exist that hint at parents worries about the effects of social media exposure on teenagers. This conversation and survey topic exists everywhere. However, in “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers: Experts say kids are growing up with more anxiety and less self-esteem,” Rachel Ehmke references a UK study that targets the opinions of 14-24-year-olds. The survey results suggested an increase in feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image, and loneliness.
Ehmke, the Senior Editor for non-profit organization Child Mind Institute, researches topics that address issues affecting children and teens. These topics include disorders, learning, media and tech, and parenting. Her understanding of the ties between teenagers and social media is evident as she explicates the risks, and offers solutions for worried parents.
In the article How Social Media Can Affect Relationships, Plus 6 Red Flags to Look Out For psychologist and matchmaker, Sara Altschule discusses her first hand experience with the positive, and negative affect social media can have on a relationship. Altschute proposes that if a person is aware of social media red flags then it is more likely to spot them, and decide how to proceed in the relationship. Altschute provides six social media red flags to be aware of. These red flags are accompanied by gifs, and ideas about how to deal with the issues that arise from each flag.
In her article, How to Keep Social Media From Complicating Your Relationship, published in 2015, Marlynn Wei discusses social media as a source for tension in romantic relationships. Wei tackles a survey conducted back in 2009, which found more time on Facebook is associated with jealousy, and monitoring of a partner’s online profile. This act has been termed “Interpersonal electronic surveillance.” IES is how much of the tension in these relationships are formed. Monitoring a significant others profile can either result in reassurance or distress depending on what is discovered. The act of monitoring your partner can also lead to a lack of trust in the relationship. Wei explores the term IES, and the effect it has on relationships. These considerations lead Wei to four negative monitoring behaviors, and six ways to keep social media from harming your relationship.
Generation Z is the generation born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. Also known as the iGen due to experiencing internet technology all of their lives, members of Generation Z experience much of their lives online, from social media to schoolwork to entertainment to shopping. Because of the latter two, many businesses develop digital media strategies in order to market themselves best to this new generation. With that in mind, Katie Sehl’s “Everything Social Marketers Need to Know About Generation Z” explains exactly that: factors that may affect how Generation Z responds to marketers. These factors range from what social media they use, their views on ads, their personal views about demographics, and more.
Intersectionality- the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage (Google). The idea behind intersectionality is that a person who identifies as two or more categories will receive discrimination highly different than those categories alone. As a black woman, for example, I will experience racism different than that of black men and sexism different than that of white women.
Dan Bayn’s “The Untapped Intersectionality of Social Media” explores how social media can be used to mitigate the factors of intersectional discrimination by connecting people with similar intersectionalities except in one area, building empathy for people due to those similarities and sympathy in that one difference. He argues how social media sites have the capability to do this, but they focus instead on using those demographics on marketing and connecting their audiences to people that they already know. Ultimately, Bayn argues that creating empathy for others is more important than the bottom line.
“What will a future without secrets look like?” That’s the question Alessandro Acqusiti asks the audience of this TED Talk about internet privacy. After revealing chilling research about how he can predict 1 out of 3 social security numbers online. The method? You’ll have to see it to believe it.