Mental Health in a Digital World

It's hard to keep a good mental state in this world we live in but how deep does the link between Mental Health and the Digital World go? In this blog, I will be exploring the effect of social media, screen time, online personas and internet trolls and how they all play a part in the state of our mental health. 

The internet has made it so easy to compare ourselves and lives to our peers, strangers and our favourite celebrities. When social media was first announced, it was innovational and the excitement was unmatched. It was supposed to be this thing that connected us to our friends and family on the other side of the world and overall make the world a more sociable place. Fast forward to today and it is a completely different story. When did we all disconnect and when did social media become so… anti-social? 

Social media works quicker than the brain at times, we see something and before we can process it we’re given something else to look at, and when there isn’t anymore for us to look at we go searching. Constantly trying to be updated. There is a certain pressure of people online to be “perfect” which can be dangerous for the general public because it gives them unrealistic things to try and replicate and they can often feel sad/down when they can’t achieve that “perfect” image.

30 years ago it was a rarity to see more than one screen in a house. Today they’re everywhere. Big and small. Technology and electronic devices have changed the world and they continue to do so all the time. Too much screen time can be harmful in more ways than we know. Sleep problems, violence and educational problems are all the biggest negative effects of increased screen time.

A lot of the time it is not the internet that is the problem but the people on it. It is so easy to create accounts online these days that people are able to freely sit behind their screens and criticise and attack others. Internet ’trolls’ often hurt feelings and make the internet a not-so friendly place. The impact that internet trolls can have on an individual’s mental health is huge. These online characters are cyber bullies.

Makeda McMillan