The theme of this year’s International Stress Awareness Week (5th – 9th November) is “DOES HI-TECH CAUSE HI-STRESS?”
Wellbeing in the digital age
The digital age has changed the landscape of society in terms of how we connect with each other, and has enabled access to information more easily than ever before. Whilst the exact nature and impact of the digital age are still unfolding, we do know that both positive and negative consequences are being felt – with particular respect to the negative impacts on mental health.
The digital age has connected the world, giving many of us access to almost any form of information anytime and anywhere, all it takes is a quick touch of a screen, or press of a button. Allowing us to view the lives of the rich and famous, to shop at any hour, and have our voices heard on topics at a national or even international level. It seems that we have never been so connected to one another. However our ever-increasing participation within the fast-changing digital age is not without its concerns:
Social media and mental health
This year, the BBC will be launching a new programme titled #LikeMinded, Exploring social media’s impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Whilst the digital age facilitates social connectedness having positive impact on people’s lives, researchers from the University of Melbourne have noted there is potential for the following negative impacts of social media use:
- Eating disorders
- Self-Harm/Increased suicide risk
Social Media philosophy is to promote social connection, openness and sharing. It can be a source of entertainment, a great tool for businesses and people to promote themselves and their services, and can allow families and friends to communicate with each other across the globe. Yet people are feeling more and more isolated in their community with the majority age between 16-24yrs closely followed by the older person generation. Face to Face communication is on the down turn with many not engaging with their community. This is why we believe MHM Wales’s Wellbeing Hubs provide such a vital service as it allows to people to engage in their community and make new friends.
Cyberbullying has also been an ever-increasing issue for our younger population, which can have very severe consequences. A study by the Royal Society for Public Health found that 7 in 10 young people reported that they had experienced cyberbullying. The same study also found that:
- 91% of 16 – 24 year olds use the internet for social networking
- Rates of anxiety and depression in young people have risen by 70% in the past 25 years
- However, on a positive note, the study also found that those who use social media report being more emotionally supported through their contacts.
MHM Wales’ Stand Against Bullying group specifically supports this age group and offers support and education surrounding this area.
For details of how MHM Wales can provide you with assistance, information and Support regarding any of the topics highlighted in this Blog contact us on 01656 651 450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org