Social media use and anxiety disorders
It is estimated that there are currently 40 million adults in the U.S affected by anxiety disorders ("Social media use and anxiety in emerging adults"). Depression affects more than 16.1 million American adults that are 18 and older in a given year ("Social media use and anxiety in emerging adults") These statistics are continue to grow every year, which is really alarming. In my research it shows that there is a huge issue when it comes to mental health. My research question will focus on why this is happening, is there a direct correlation between our use of social media and the rise of anxiety and depression in this society? My thesis supports will focus on the view that there is a correlation between how much we are using social media and how it is affecting our mental health.
Is it ourfault for making this social media world into what it is today? Most of my sources cite that there has been a direct correlation with social media and how much someone is using it with anxiety and depression within our society. All of the authors have shared the same goal that social media has increased the amount of young adults that are suffering from a mental illness. The more we depend on social media in our society, the more mental illness is going to increase in our society.
Some of my articles, like Science Direct, give highlight facts about social media in young adults. In one article (Pantic) gives highlights about how social media is a trigger for those with anxiety. Another article by Science Direct discusses how social media has a correlation with sleep quality, anxiety, depression, and even a low self esteem.
One of my most interesting sources came from: "Association between social media use and depression among U.S Young Adults" by Liu yi Lin. It illustrated set tables which showed the type of person they survey, their time per day on social media, and what type of social media they were using. From this information they were able to come to the same conclusion as my other sources, social media has a deep affect on peoples mental health. Although this article doesn't discuss what we can do to prevent social media from having such a big impact on ur mental wellbeing I think that it is clear in order for something to change, we need to lessen the use of social media in our day to day lives.
As part of a different viewpoint that we sometimes seem to look over, I found an article (aaai) discussing how we are able to predict depression using social media. While it does not focus on how social media can cause depression, it focuses on how we are able to find clues within peoples social media that they are struggling. This is a different way to look at things because when people are struggling with depression, it is often hard for them to want to reach out to people and get help. If social media is a way for them to express themselves or allow people "in" than it allows them to get help even if they do not fully realize they need it. It is like a double edge sword, social media can be dangerous and can affect people mentally in ways we may not fully grasp yet. However, social media can be an escape for people and give people a place they can express themselves.
When it comes to my topic, it can be a sticky subject. For a lot of people, when it comes to anxiety and depression, it can be a soft subject for them. I am hoping that when I interview some of my college peers they are able to be transparent with their answers and give their honest opinion on what they think social media is doing to us mentally. One other challenge is that not a lot of people are fully aware if they truly have a mental illness. It can go one or two ways, first being, some people could be suffering with anxiety and depression but do not fully know it or recognize it. The second being people could be self diagnosing themselves. There has been plenty of times I've heard people say "Oh, I am having anxiety" or "Im depressed" but have never really been to a doctor and are just saying that. I would really appreciate any advice when it comes to this topic and any suggestions would be amazing.
In the end of this I am hoping that my reader will walk away after reading my paper wanting to lean away from social media. I believe that if the world would start a trend of being more present within their day to day life and stopped looking at their phone 24/7 that there would be a sudden decrease in anxiety and depression. I understand that this can't happen overnight and you can not change everyone but I have hopes that my reader will see the affects that social media can have on their mental health and want to make a change within themselves.
It is so important that there is an awareness as to what social media could be doing to people. There is so much good that comes with social media, yet there is so much bad underneath that not everyone can see. It is important that people are thinking about themselves first. It is so easy to get wrapped up in other peoples lives on social media that people tend to forget about themselves. This is so important for people to realize because it is not worth having increased depression or anxiety because of social media. I am excited to continue doing research on this topic and hopefully being able to not only educate myself but educate others.