Inspire or distract?
While the negative effects of social media might seem like a counter-intuitive subject for a business to write about. Understanding the full effects, help us responsibly and often more effectively target consumers with relevant and value-driven content. As a digital service provider which includes social media graphics and content, we must understand the negative impact that these services can have on the mental health of our customers.
Effects of social media and the influence it has on society
The retail industry is a classic example to highlight the pressures created by a digitally-driven society. In fact, body consciousness, celebrity endorsements and influencer marketing has contributed to a ‘hashtag-driven culture’. The risks associated with social media can lead to an “everyone’s got one, so I must have one” mentality, or in extreme situations; anxiety or depression. Taking this a step further can lead to media conditions or damage to mental health.
However, due to the sheer size of social media, even if businesses didn’t implement promoted content, it’s highly likely these stigmas would still exist. Therefore, a conscious effect to understand and improve the way businesses use social media more responsibly, begins to form part of a progressive solution.
The acknowledgement of mental health
Mental health is now talked about more openly than ever before. But is the ‘staggering rise’ of depression and anxiety within young people really solely down to the rise of the internet? Or, is the concept of mental health now simply more widely reported as the general public acknowledge and understand the issue more clearly? Alternatively, is it a combination of the two? By constantly discussing mental health in the media, are we increasing levels of anxiety, self-diagnosis and doubt?
How Social Media Affects Us
The BBC carried out a survey where 100 people were asked to report on their mood and feelings when presented with a selection of posts.
“We spoke to Prof. Andrew Przybylski from The University of Oxford. His recent work suggests that there is a tipping point with time spent online. Using smartphones for up to 2 hours a day on weekdays, or 4 hours at weekends, has a generally positive effect on mental wellbeing, but beyond that, leads to a decline in mood.”
So, this proves that we need to be using this powerful tool to communicate and not destruct our audiences. Playing by social algorithms to ensure only relevant content reaches the audience is a key factor in ensuring they make the most of their time on social media. As a result, benefitting both businesses and consumers; connecting the right people, to the right messages, at the right time.
If you have been affected by this subject personally there is plenty of support out there, Samaritans being one of the more recognised networks for help and advice.