Digitally Depressed: The Effects of Digital Media Usage in regard to Depression and Approaches for Alleviation for Individuals and the Society

Main Article Content

Pritta Chasombat
Warut Karuchit

Abstract

With the growing usage of technology, mass media has adapted itself into digital media alongside with digital platforms or, as known as, social networking sites. The innovation has changed humans’ life style and communication, such as, the way users consume and access to information, including virtual socializing. With the change in human interactions online, many organizations are using online channels to distribute information and raise awareness, promoting campaigns, and one of the most popular subjects is depression. Depression is one of the most severe health conditions that affects its victim in every aspect of his or her life. In an extension of the Internet’s ability to create content, users not only educate themselves from online information and seek for self-help but are more likely to disclose "their" stories and feelings. Although there were numerous studies in the past decade which proved that the Internet can cause ‘Internet or Facebook Addition,’ which may lead to mental illnesses like depression. Recently, several research studies questioned such a statement and found that, actually, Facebook is beneficial to mental health, such as, reducing depression and anxiety. Facebook and social media provide opportunity to develop social relationships for those who suffer from social anxiety. Also, the online connection has been acting as a substitute to face-to-face interactions which evidently reduce depression with increased life satisfaction. Therefore, it is possible to say that digital media, like, Facebook and YouTube have become one of the tools that help society to educate and have a better understanding in regard to depression, or a virtual place to find their own help community.

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