3 Areas of Improvement:
1. Being too broad or redundant with my ideas
2. Overall organization and structure in my paper
3. Effective deductive reasoning approach
Social Media's Battle With Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, particularly among adolescents and young adults, and has increased our reliance on technology and social media. While the social media outlet has done a sufficient job in providing a sense of community and connection, it has also exacerbated mental health issues, particularly depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. It has been estimated that 46,000 people in the United States have committed suicide in 2020 (Bergman Para. 1). Just among the adolescent and young adult population, suicide rates have now increased to 10.7 per 100,000 (Bergman Para. 2). To address the rising rates of suicide and mental illness among young adults due to the negative effects of social media, various measures can be implemented at the educational, professional, and home environment levels. These measures include raising awareness and providing education on mental health and social media, offering counseling and support services to those who lack acess, promoting social media literacy, and creating a safe and supportive home environment.
In conducting research on the impact of social media on mental wellness, I utilized a variety of sources, including academic journals, articles, and reviews from online databases and web search engines like Google Scholar. To ensure the most relevant and up-to-date information, I examined data and statistical information from years before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of sources I analyzed suggest a negative correlation between social media usage and mental wellness. However, there were differences in demographics, methods, and materials between experimental studies, and some sources lacked preventative methods to address this issue.
My sources included Mental Health America, which provided quick facts and statistical information along with resources and symptoms related to suicide. I also consulted the Social Media Victims Law Center, which offered an informative video discussing the prevalence of teen suicide and pre-existing mental health disorders and their relationship with social media use. Academic journals provided a systematic review of Internet addiction and smartphone use among adolescents and young adults, as well as quantitative studies on specific social media platforms like Instagram. Lastly, Levy Konigsberg's blog post, "Social Media Linked to Rising Teen Suicide Rates," utilized statistical information from The Pew Research Center's study and offered a Q&A section on suicide prevention and ways parents can become involved.
To address the rising suicide rates and mental illness deaths among young adults, it is reasonable to deduce that implementing more mental health classes and mentoring programs at the educational level for students in grades K and above can be a beneficial step in battling the negative impacts of social media on youth populations. This deduction is supported by several facts. For example, increasing access to mental health courses in schools can provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge in psychological health, as noted by Charania. Additionally, it is crucial to recognize that one in five children experiences diagnosable mental health problems, as pointed out by Mental Health America, and that not all seek help. This lack of support can lead to severe consequences such as dropping out of school, getting involved in the criminal justice system, or facing unemployment, as emphasized by MHA. Therefore, developing emotional and social learning programs can help equip students with the knowledge and information they need to maintain their physical and mental well-being, as suggested by Nirmita Panchal. Overall, implementing more mental health classes and mentoring programs at the educational level for students in grades K and above can be a useful step in addressing the negative impacts of social media on youth populations.
Mentoring and support programs have been found to be effective in helping students from low-income families overcome financial barriers and achieve academic success. These programs provide students with guidance, encouragement, and emotional support that can improve their academic performance and overall well-being (Charania). However, there are challenges in providing mentoring and support programs in rural areas and low-income communities due to distance, limited resources, and lack of funding. Additionally, the digital divide can further exacerbate these issues by limiting access to online resources and social media support. To address these challenges, policymakers and educators can allocate more funding towards mentoring and support programs in low-income communities and provide resources to help establish and sustain effective programs. Furthermore, they can leverage technology to increase access to mentoring and support services, such as online mentoring and peer support networks. In summary, mentoring and support programs can be effective in helping students from low-income families overcome financial barriers and achieve academic success. However, access to these programs remains a challenge in rural areas and low-income communities, and solutions such as increased funding and technological innovations should be pursued to expand access to these critical services.
The integration of technology in mental health care can also significantly improve the accessibility and affordability of mental health services. Mental health care providers such as psychologists, counselors, and clinical social workers can utilize app development and technology to share their work and assist in mental health awareness (Trivedi). Through remote support and app-based programs, individuals can receive mental health care regardless of their location, providing a convenient alternative to traditional in-person options. Technology also enables 24-hour monitoring and data collection, allowing for tailored treatment and progress monitoring. App-based programs can be a cost-effective and accessible first step for individuals who are new to mental health care or who seek lower-cost options than traditional health care clinics or appointments (Technology and the future of Mental Health Treatment). Such alternatives offer clients the freedom to seek treatment without involving other people and maintain their privacy. This integration of technology in mental health care can help reach a wider audience and make mental health services more affordable and accessible. Mental health care providers who leverage technology can offer effective and convenient services, expanding access to support for individuals in need (Gjebre). Furthermore, app-based services can help to reduce stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment, as they are often confidential and can be accessed from the privacy of one's own home. Overall, incorporating app-based mental health services into the broader mental health care system may be an effective way to reduce suicide rates in America.
Along with providing adequate support for those that are unable to access services like counseling or mentoring, it is also crucial that our society works to promote social media literacy. In Gianfranco Polizzi's "How to Promote Social Media Literacy", he explains In today's society, social media has become a primary source of news and information for many people. However, the spread of misinformation and fake news on these platforms can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole. Promoting social media literacy is crucial in helping individuals develop critical thinking skills and become more discerning consumers of information (Polizzi). Social media literacy programs teach individuals to evaluate sources, identify bias, and distinguish between fact and opinion. By doing so, individuals become more informed and engaged citizens who are less vulnerable to the negative effects of misinformation. Furthermore, promoting social media literacy can help individuals protect their personal information and privacy, as well as avoid scams and other online threats (Polizzi). Overall, it is essential to promote social media literacy in today's digital age. By fostering critical thinking skills and helping individuals become more discerning consumers of information, we can create a more informed, engaged, and resilient society.
Social media literacy is also a crucial factor in preventing the rise of suicide rates among young adults. It equips individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate social media in a healthy and positive way. This knowledge enables them to recognize and counteract negative behaviors and patterns associated with social media use that may lead to mental health issues. Additionally, social media literacy helps individuals to identify trustworthy mental health resources and support networks that they can access during difficult times (McNulty). By being informed about the potential risks of social media use, individuals can make informed decisions about their engagement with social media and prioritize their mental health. In conclusion, social media literacy is a vital tool in mitigating the negative impact of social media on mental health and preventing the escalation of suicide rates among young adults.
Ensuring a positive mental health environment for children is crucial for their overall well-being, based on extensive research and evidence. By focusing on physical and psychological development, along with limiting electronic use, parents and caregivers can help mitigate the negative impacts of social media on children as they age. Studies indicate that parents, guardians, and caregivers are the foremost sources of support and care for children, and thus must serve as advocates for their child's welfare (Dsadmin). Establishing effective social skills, fostering quality relationships through non-digital activities, and cultivating a positive self-identity can help promote a higher quality of life for children.
In addition, limiting screen time on digital devices such as tablets and iPads can assist in promoting a better life balance, leading to increased serotonin production, attention span, and interpersonal skills. Additionally, engaging in physical activities has been found to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem. It is essential for parents to be aware of their own mental health and seek assistance if necessary since children can be affected by the mental health of their parents and caregivers. Furthermore, creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment where children feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings can encourage positive mental health.based on the available research and evidence, fostering a positive mental health environment for children involves focusing on physical and psychological development, limiting electronic use, encouraging physical activity, and cultivating a supportive and non-judgmental environment (Dsadmin). By taking these steps, parents and caregivers can help promote positive mental health for their children and facilitate a healthy and fulfilling life.
The mental health of young adults is a growing concern due to the negative effects of social media. To address this issue, a multifaceted approach is required, including measures implemented at the educational, professional, and home environment levels. A comprehensive approach is needed to tackle this problem, involving the implementation of measures across various domains, including education, employment, and home life. These measures may consist of raising awareness and providing education on mental health and social media, accessible counseling and support services, social media literacy promotion, and fostering a safe and nurturing home environment. By prioritizing the mental well-being of young people and taking steps to mitigate the impact of social media, we can assist them in developing healthy online habits and promoting positive mental health. As the next generation of leaders, workers, and citizens, the mental well-being of young people has a significant impact on the future success and prosperity of our communities. By prioritizing the mental health needs of young adults, we can ensure that they have the tools and resources necessary to develop into healthy, productive members of society. This includes providing access to mental health services, promoting social media literacy and healthy habits, and creating supportive environments in which young people can thrive. By investing in the mental health of our youth, we can build a brighter future for generations to come.