NOT JUST YOUTH BUT ALSO MIDDLE AGE AND ELDERLY
I read all the time about the relationships between social media use and mental health in the young adult population and I’m often critical of these discussions because it’s no longer just the young, take a look around, it’s also middle age and aging population who also experience this relationship. My rant is over about the age significance, now to focus on the mental health aspect that is critically important. There is plenty of research that indicates that there is a connection between increased social media use and deteriorated mental health. Unfortunately, young adults, the most active social media users, have a predominantly high risk for developing mental health issues. I do not claim to be a mental health specialist, but do understand that there are connections and I’d like to explore some of these theories with you for further discussion.
Impacts that are often in the news include the sedentary behaviors on mental health (very true, I don’t disagree and again this spans ALL age groups, not just the youth). Do you agree and have you any experiences? And oh yes, sleep deprivation. I’ve even seen hashtags specifically labelled #sleepyteens, what does that tell you? I have a teenager and can attest to the early morning blue light watching vs sleeping, and then the grumpiness the next day. And not just mood swings, but social media is associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. For more in depth information, please search #Sleepyteens.
A connection between sleep and mental health is well documented. It has been shown that people who suffer from anxiety tend to spend less time in deep sleep than those without anxiety (Monti & Monti,2000). Poor sleep can also make people less receptive to positive emotions by limiting their ability to correctly process certain neurotransmitters in the brain making them feel more sad or discontent. A history of insomnia has been shown to increase the risk of developing depression.
A FINAL NOTE I encourage other members of our group who are late night users, to think twice about watching or surfing into the wee hours to be kind to your mind and body – and others around you.
Facebook and Twitter Posts
Facebook: How are you educating yourself and others around you about the effects of social media and mental health? For more information on recent statistics, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association at shorturl.at/wEGX2.
Twitter: Want to learn more about the impacts of social media use and mental health? Please see #sleepyteens or visit the Canadian Mental Health Association for more information. https://ontario.cmha.ca/document-category/social-media-and-mental-health/