A False Sense of Connectivity Part Two: How Social Media is Catalyzing Depression
Technology is not the future; it is our present way of life. It is a necessary tool and disruptor that can't be avoided. Most institutions from the workplace and all levels of education require interaction with technology and screens. Social expectations increase this exposure time through social media in someone's downtime, regardless of age. While we are well aware of its connectivity benefits, are we aware of the health risks?
Perhaps instead of looking at our technological future, we focus on how in the future we can cope with these changes and be aware of our altering mental health. A recent study showed females scored significantly higher on the addictive scale than males (Kadir, 2015). This statistic may correlate with the social expectation of online presence and media among women. Positive correlations were found between smartphone addiction and higher levels of anxiety and depression, as well as lower quality of sleep in both genders (Kadir, 2015).
While removing technology may not be in the cards for the modern consumer and worker; limiting our screentime may have a significant impact on our day to day lives. By obtaining information on types of media; devices, platforms, demographics, gender, age, and social status, patterns can be found to put in educational or preventative measures for impact.
In a large scale nation-wide sample study conducted by Common Sense, it would appear that phones are increasing while other devices (television and computers) are decreasing (Rideout, 2015). With the shifting focus on mobile social media and streaming, this makes sense to any consumer. The national increase is heavily seen around the youth, rightfully so, as the youth is introduced to the technology at a young age opposed to older generations. Therefore, controlling screen time comes down to bringing awareness to parents, guardians, and elders. Awareness can be a powerful force over a length of time. An individual may implement what is suggested when they feel ready to undergo the change. But knowledge is what brings the spark to an unlit match.
Subject: Sophia Gutchinov
Written and Photographed by Sarah McKinnon.
Kadir, Demirci. (2015, July 1). Relationship of smartphone use severity with sleep quality, depression, and anxiety in university students. Retrieved from: https://akademiai.com/ doi/abs/10.1556/2006.4.2015.010
Rideout, Vicky., & Seeta Pai. (2015, March 9). The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens. Retrieved by: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/ uploads/research/census_executivesummary.pdf