How the Influx of Digital Media Affects Mental Health

With the progression of time there has been innumerable technological advancements and an influx of digital media that has immensely effected the average individual. With its initiation gradually every human being has been made a victim of virtual media and are now even slaves to it. Be it from your cellular devices to laptops, tablets, Ipads, digital watches, the internet and the unfathomable depth of the web and virtual apps that can be easily accessed by a single individual with a single digital device.

What actually takes one back is the amount of exposure one has with digital media. Now this endless exposure can be positive and negative not only in its initial essence but also with reference to how one individual takes it into perspective which is also greatly affected by his/her mental health. So you see one tenet depends heavily on numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors that one individual is exposed to. However the verdict remains that digital media has an immense influence on an individual’s mental health. Although the significant clause to be kept in mind is that this influence can be either positive or negative.

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The Influence of Digital Media upon Mental Health

The digital media itself has an unfathomable existence and its better understanding aids us to better understand our surroundings and how it is interlinked with it and how this link affects us, and if this affect is negative, how can we make it positive. For technology is aimed to make our lives easier and lead to less hassle in general and with the progress of time it is immensely observed that the effect is opposite.

The Positive Influence of Digital Media on Mental Health:

  1. Digital Media allows the average individual to obtain a form of virtual freedom which helps them to break free from their shackles, physical or mental. One example is that individuals suffering from mental health disorders can easily find professional help online with numerous online mental health services and professional psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. These can be contacted via numerous websites, web services, via their social media, personal portfolios, messaging and even via Skype and many other virtual public forums. A very productive example is that if we suppose that an individual is suffering from a mental health disorder and his family or friends are one of the reasons for it then it is more difficult for this individual to go and meet a professional in person so he/she will prefer talking online.
  2. Moreover, via digital media, individuals can stay in touch with their family and friends even if they live abroad or in foreign countries. This prevents them from feeling isolated and often find people to talk with. Often individuals get depressed as they move out from their homes and get detached from their families, however digital media is a great way to keep connected via apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
  3. Additionally, individuals can easily find inspiration and motivation via digital media either in diverse online activities or by looking at other people’s stories and connecting and/or relating with their stories. This can really help someone suffering from mental health disorders to feel relaxed and come to numerous realizations about their health and learn from other people’s experiences as this can really help them see the other side of the spectrum and gain optimism.
  4. Also, individuals can do and gain more research and information with regards to their mental conditions and learn about them not only in theory but also practically. So this helps them to stay updated about it and actually get to learn about different clauses with regards to their condition that may help them in their recovery and better understand the bigger prospect behind the solutions prescribed.
  5. Individuals can also be involved in digital activities that may help them relax, unwind and improve their mental health like listening to music, watching movies, playing video games, etc. These can really help individuals to get a breather and reduce their stress levels and anxiety.
  6. One of the most beneficial clauses of digital media is that mental health related apps are available that are able to aid individuals suffering from mental health disorders. There are innumerable mental health related apps, not only some that constitute support groups but also those that can help you find professional help nearby you, or keep track of your self-awareness, then there are meditation apps as well. A few apps are more centered towards a few specific mental health disorders like PTSD and stress while others tend to branch out. The following article lists a few of these apps,

The Negative Influence of Digital Media on Mental Health

  1. Social Media is a significant part of digital media and can often lead to individuals feeling a sense of inferiority complex where individuals get to see other people and their lives and often feel as if they are inferior to them either in their physique, beauty, wealth, language and/or social status. This can lead to serious feelings of self-doubt and loss of self confidence. 
  2. Often when individuals see other creators and personnel on media and they are exposed or they witness the wealth, status or fame that others have, they often feel a sense of ungratefulness for their own blessings as they may develop jealousy for others and what they have and this can lead to anger, frustration and annoyance in their own lives. This feeling of ingratitude can elevate, and become potential reasons for mental health disorders. And eventually when individuals do not attain these standards set by the media, they develop mental illnesses.
  3. Now digital media often showcases unnatural standards of beauty and physique for all genders, which often leads to the average individual not attaining those beauty standards and feeling a sense of failure and loss or even self-depreciation. These standards can often lead to individuals exercising to an extent that it becomes harmful for their health and the prospect of dieting can lead to illnesses like anorexia and bulimia. This can aggravate mental illnesses and is one of the leading causes of suicide in youth nowadays.
  4. Digital media and digital devices have given individuals a form of virtual freedom and in some cases this freedom is being used for illicit purposes like virtual bullying and spreading hate and hate language which spreads negativity and pessimistic values which increases chances of developing mental health disorders.
  5. The digital devices which are a portal that eventually links us all with the digital media are so intensively used that they can lead to physical health problems that eventually may lead to mental health problems, and vice versa.
  6. Moreover, individuals have become incessantly addicted with using digital media to an extent that they find themselves so engrossed in it that they do not find time for their family, friends or even have oral conversations. This affects their oral communicative skills and can lead to mental health issues and can lead to depression and feelings of loneliness.
  7. As experienced over the years, digital media has its perks but there has been a rising lack of privacy of consumer’s data and this can make individuals feel insecure, unsafe and vulnerable as their every step or every click is followed and recorded. This can lead to feeling anxious and stressful as the world becomes more and more distrustful and people become distant.

The Verdict

Digital media by all means is an overwhelming advancement but can only be made productive with regards to how it is used and consumed by the average individual taking into consideration the health and well-being of all individuals. Moreover, it is a reality that producers or suppliers won’t take this into consideration considering that this is a lucrative business for them but as responsible individuals we should initiate our own self-discipline and have a stronger conscience and self-control for our own benefit and improved health.

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