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调查:社交网络不利于身心健康

2014-07-14    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Tallulah Wilson was just 15 years old when she took her own life back in October 2012. The gifted ballerina had been receiving treatment for clinical depression, but whilst creating an online fantasy of a cocaine-taking character, she began to share self-harm images on social networking site, Tumblr.

Shortly after her mother discovered Tallulah’s account and had it shut down, the teenager jumped in front of a train at St. Pancras station in London.

Back in 2002, Tim Piper killed himself at the age of 17. Following his struggle with depression, the student embarked on an online search for advice on how to commit suicide – later hanging himself in his bedroom.

While there are several reasons for using social networking, it appears that its main function is for increased contact with friends and family along with increased engagement in social activities. However, research has shown that young adults with a strong Facebook presence were more likely to exhibit narcissistic antisocial behavior; while excessive use of social media was found to be strongly linked to underachievement at school.

So if you take roughly 1.2 billion Facebook users and 450 million people suffering from mental disorders, what do you get? A global pandemic that’s showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Cyberbullying is still on the rise

Amanda Todd, 15, committed suicide in 2012 after undergoing years of cyberbullying.

Quoting statistics from the Pew Research Center and the World Health Organization respectively, it’s frightening just how high these figures are – especially when you take into account the terrifying growth of online bullying.

Earlier this year, British charity ChildLine found cyberbullying to be on the rise; with children reporting 4,507 cases of cyberbullying in 2012-13 compared to 2,410 in 2011-12.

Why the increase? It appears that somewhere along the way, the privileges of social networking have been abused – both in terms of its meaning, as well as its victims.

It was back around the 2005 mark that the technorati heralded the dawn of social media; reaping the benefits of adopting real-time communication via a digital platform. Embracing unfamiliar terminology as well as transforming the landscape upon which standard norms of interaction were practised, suddenly choosing the appropriate profile picture became a first world problem whilst others agonised over which hashtags best summed up their tweets.

Yet there were much more pressing issues that over time would manifest into the difficulties we’ve only just started to speak up about today. This year marked the world’s first ever #TimetoTalk Day, where for 24 hours on February 6, 2014, people were encouraged to start conversations regarding mental health in a bid to end the discrimination against mental illnesses.

Though while this is one instance where social media can be seen as positive in the case of mental health, there have been many other situations where social networking has not been such a good thing.

The effects of social networks on mental illnesses

A matter of contention prevalent within the media, several studies have shown that social networking – Facebook in particular – can have detrimental effects on our wellbeing. Researchers from the University of Michigan assessed Facebook usage over a fortnight and found that the more people that used it, the more negativity they experienced concerning their day-to-day activities; as well as over time, incurring higher levels of dissatisfaction with their life overall.

Meanwhile, a blog published on Everyday Mindfulness uncovered a fascinating concept known as the ‘discrepancy monitor’; “a process that continually monitors and evaluates our self and our current situation against a gold standard.”

In a nutshell, we evaluate our own experiences against what we believe our experiences should be. But when comparing our own circumstances against that of Facebook, we become our own worst enemy – as the digital persona portrayed on this social network only highlights the ‘best bits’ from our short Facebook timeline, in stark contrast to our entire life’s work.

Need any more proof on just how damaging social media can be? Look to DoSomething.org, America’s largest not-for-profit for the younger generation and social change. Its 9 Ways Technology Affects Mental Health article brings to light several afflictions social media has on mental health, including depression, isolation, insecurity and more recently, FOMO, also known as “Fear Of Missing Out.”


Prevent social media addiction

The peer pressure to remain always connected – coupled with the 24/7 accessibility that mobile media provides – means that there’s always more than one resource available for users to get their digital fix; which unfortunately leads to the biggest demon of all: Addiction.

While there’s a multitude of self-help guides preaching their own best practices for handling the negative aspects of social media, the resolution begins with learning to use social media when appropriate and remembering that health is wealth – physically, as well as mentally.

相关内容

2012年10月,年仅15岁的塔卢拉•威尔逊(Tallulah Wilson)结束了自己的生命。这位极具天赋的芭蕾舞演员已经接受了一段时间的临床抑郁症治疗,但与此同时,她在网上扮演了一个吸食可卡因的虚幻角色,并开始在社交网络微博客(Tumblr)上分享自残图片。

在塔卢拉的妈妈发现并注销了她的帐号之后没多久,这名少女就在伦敦圣•潘克拉斯火车站跳进火车铁轨自杀了。

早在2002年,年仅17岁的蒂姆•派伯(Tim Piper)自杀而亡。在他与抑郁症斗争未果之后,这名学生开始在网上搜索自杀方法的建议,之后便选择在卧室上吊自杀。

使用社交网络的原因有很多,不过其最主要的功能似乎是通过更多地参与社交活动来加强与朋友和亲人的联系。然而,相关研究显示,经常光顾脸谱网的年轻人更容易有自恋的反社会行为;研究还发现,学生对社交媒体的过度使用与学习成绩不良有很大的关系。

所以如果你粗略地将12亿脸书使用者和4亿5千万精神病患者联系在一起,你会发现什么?这是一场全球流行的“网络瘟疫”,并且近期内没有丝毫减少的迹象。

网络欺凌现象仍在增多

2012年,15岁的阿曼达•托德(Amanda Todd)在忍受了多年网络欺凌之后选择自杀。

根据皮尤研究中心和世界卫生组织各自的调查数据,网络欺凌现象的数量多得让人可怕,其增加的速度尤其让人毛骨悚然。

今年早些时候,英国慈善机构“儿童热线”发现网上欺凌现象不断增多,2011至2012年所报道的网上欺凌案件数量仅有2410例,而在2012至2013年这一数字增长到了4507例。

为什么一年之内增长了这么多?似乎是因为这一年来,由于社交网络的特权被滥用,其受害者被他人虐待。

在2005年这个标志性的一年,搜索引擎Technorati的使用迎来了社交媒体的曙光,人们借助数字平台进行实时通信并从中获益。人类开始拥抱陌生的技术,改变原来社交平台上的标准和规范。好像一夜之间,挑选合适的图片作为头像成了世界第一难题;另外一些人纠结用哪个标签最能概括他们的推特风格。

但是随着时间流逝,有越来越多严峻的问题出现了,而我们现在才刚刚开始谈论它们。今年标志着世界第一个“交流日(Time to Talk Day)”产生,2月6日那一整天人们都被鼓励针对精神健康问题讨论,为终结对精神病患者的歧视而展开对话。

尽管对于精神正常的人来说社交媒体可能是积极的所在,但这只是其中一种情况;在很多其他情况下,社交网络并不是个好东西。

社交网络对精神疾病的影响

在社交媒体中普遍存在一些争议,很多研究表明社交网络,特别是脸谱,对我们的身心健康有害。密歇根大学的研究者在对脸谱为期两个星期的调查中发现,人们越使用它就越会对自己日常生活感到消极。随着时间流逝,也会激发对生活总体的较高程度的不满。

与此同时,在Everyday Mindfulness发表的一篇博文中揭示了一个引人注意的概念——差异监控。这是一个为对抗黄金准则而持续观测和评估我们自己以及我们现况的过程。

简而言之,我们评估自己的经历来对抗我们原本相信的经验。但是当我们拿自己的经历和脸谱网上呈现的经历相比较时,我们成了自己最不利的敌人。因为我们在社交网络上所扮演的数字虚拟形象仅仅强调了我们在使用脸谱网的短暂时期内的“最佳二进数位”,这与我们整个的生活、工作大相径庭。

现在还需要更多证据来说明社交媒体带来的灾难吗?那就请访问美国为青少年和社会变化而建的最大的公益网站DoSomething.org。在一篇名为9 Ways Technology Affects Mental Health(科技影响精神健康的9大方面)的文章里,作者揭露了社交媒体给人类精神健康带来的苦难,包括抑郁、孤独、不安全感和最近出现的社交控,即忙于眼前事的时候害怕错过更精彩的事。

防止社交媒体成瘾

来自经常联系的同伴的压力,外加上手机媒体每天24小时提供的社交渠道,意味着使用者通常会专心于不止一种数字资源,这很不幸地会导致社交网络成瘾这一万恶之首。

当一大批自助向导将他们自己处理社交媒体消极影响的经验方法讲述出来时,人们开始下决心适当地使用社交媒体,并牢记健康就是财富,不论是身体健康还是心理健康。


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