Recent research has found a connection between social media use and specific mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Some claim that technology is enhancing mental health treatment in a number of ways, especially by enabling platforms like mobile apps for smartphones and computers to assist deliver services and information to clients more affordably. Additionally, to smartphone apps that support mental health, there are several platforms that enable users to finish cognitive behavioral therapy courses online. Some online platforms offer tools like educational resources, online chats, and virtual classes on mental health topics that allow users who are dealing with mental health concerns like anxiety and depression to manage their symptoms at home. The effectiveness of these applications is evident from the study’s finding that 95% of users of the service reported an improvement in their symptoms.
Although some research suggests that using technology in general — and particularly the internet — may be linked to the development of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression in some people, it has also been shown to have a positive impact on how people manage and receive treatment for certain mental health conditions. According to research, internet addiction is becoming a serious problem, especially among younger age groups like adolescents. When compared to other types of addiction, internet addiction disorder has many similarities, such as withdrawal symptoms that occur when online access is restricted. Internet addiction can be an issue since it can have a negative impact on academic accomplishment and a person’s capacity for successful in-person communication, even while the internet can be a positive force for education and the development of interpersonal relationships. There has been evidence of a connection between internet addiction and some mental diseases, such as sadness, low self-esteem, and loneliness.
Studies have linked the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with depression. Even still, further analysis is required before the counseling community as a whole accepts the findings of the aforementioned studies as reality. However, the results merit further investigation. In a 2013 study, it was discovered that younger persons who frequently used Facebook tended to report feeling less cheerful, with the platform’s use possibly to blame. A study that looked at high school students also revealed that individuals who used social media frequently tended to have higher rates of depression.
Researchers describe how social media sites might cause feelings of poor self-esteem in some people. For instance, a user of a social media platform might view other users and believe they are more successful, attractive, intellectual, etc. In a survey of students at a Utah university, it was discovered that individuals who regularly utilized social media sites tended to believe their friends to be happier and more successful than themselves. Although these emotions are not always connected to depression, there can be a connection between them, especially if the people in question already experience or are likely to develop mental health issues.
When we use social media, we are seeking validation and, whether we realize it or not, we are contrasting our lives with those of others. As a result, we might not fully appreciate the present.
Technology’s influence has spread to the field of medicine, and it is obvious that technology is also improving mental health services. But according to research, the very technologies that can aid with mental health difficulties, such smartphone apps, may also be associated with the experience of mental health concerns in various situations. Before drawing firm conclusions, more research is required, as Pantic emphasized. However, in order to practice effectively, new mental health counselors must have a thorough awareness of the complex interplay between technology and mental health. Counselors must increase their technology proficiency while always adhering to their individual ethical standards and the rule of law.