NEW WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2020–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital technologies and social networking platforms are rapidly disrupting the ways in which people live and work, with some experts warning that the disruption could cause an increase in suicide.
Digital technology is changing the way people communicate, with more people than ever getting online.
And some experts say the shift could also make people more susceptible to depression, substance abuse and other mental health problems.
“A lot of people who are struggling with depression, they’re using social media to do so,” said Mark Johnson, executive director of the Institute for Social Research and Policy in New York City.
“We’re not talking about, ‘Oh, this is something I’m really struggling with.’
We’re talking about somebody who has some type of chronic mental illness.
They’re using a lot of the services that we provide to help them manage their mental health.
And we’ve seen this shift with depression.”
Johnson said the shift has the potential to have a negative impact on the way many people think and act.
“People are very comfortable and comfortable being on their own and not having to rely on anybody,” Johnson said.
“But when you’re using the services of these social networking sites, people have no idea what that means.
They may have heard it described as ‘just being yourself,’ but what that really means is that you’re saying, ‘Well, I’m here because I have a problem.'”
Johnson said there is a growing body of research that suggests people with mental health issues may be more likely to take their own lives, especially if they have social anxiety or depression.
Johnson and his colleagues conducted a study of 1,000 people from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who were followed from 2008 to 2020.
The researchers looked at the people’s self-reported use of antidepressants and other psychiatric medications and found a link between depression and using social networking.
They also looked at their relationship with friends, family and the police.
“When people are experiencing social isolation, they are more likely than those without it to be depressed,” Johnson explained.
“The more people are online, the more likely they are to use drugs, and the more they’re at risk of suicide.”
The study found that depression rates in New Yorkers were twice that of those in Pennsylvania.
Johnson said social networking was a way for people to connect with other people, and some researchers say it could be a gateway to depression.
“Social networking sites are not just about getting in touch with people,” Johnson added.
“People who are depressed are more inclined to take those risks.
They are more vulnerable.”
Johnson is the author of the book “A Social Network: Social Media and the Psychology of Self-Esteem” and his research has been featured in magazines including The Atlantic, Wired, The Huffington Post, and Time, among others.
Johnson’s research also showed that social networking had a positive impact on mental health among people with ADHD, who are more susceptible than other people to depression and suicide.
Johnson believes social networking could be one of the ways that we will find out what the long-term consequences of the internet’s influence on our lives will be.
“We will find that we have a more positive impact than we do now on people’s lives because of this kind of change in how we interact online,” he said.
“So the question is, ‘How much of this will we see?’
What do we need to change, and what is the impact on people who aren’t as digitally savvy as they once were?”
There are going to be those who are going down the path of depression and we are going in the opposite direction,” he added.”
That’s where the internet can be a blessing, and it can be our friend.
“Johnson noted that social media has become more of a tool in the hands of those who use it, and said that in the future it could become an even more powerful tool for those who don’t have it.”
And it’s going to become increasingly more important in the way we interact with each other and with other communities. “
I’m just saying that it will be a tool.
And it’s going to become increasingly more important in the way we interact with each other and with other communities.
It’s going and will become a more powerful thing.””
The internet will become more important,” he concluded.