Psychiatric Illness and Social Media

Is there any psychiatric illness of yours based on your posts on social media? I saw a post about it last week on Linkedin and also there was a link to check research out about it. This is such interesting research because as all we know no matter what kinds of technological developments occur, our brain and psychology are affected somehow. Especially, seeing how social media can help to find our illness is pretty cool.

I would like to provide really short explanations: Data was collected across 223 participants and their Facebook posts were used. Of course, those posts include images and texts in order to understand their emotions, reactions, and moods. Their main method was machine learning algorithms and they have found someone who has mental illness a year before the first hospitalization. If you want to get detailed information, you can check the resources part out at the end of this article.

What Does Affect our Mental Health?

It is a well-known fact is that all we live in a society and living there shapes our lives. Society occurs many different kinds of people and all of us exposed to each of their behaviors somehow. For example, we have different cultures, education systems, languages, etc. worldwide, and those differences can create challenges for our psychology. I am not sure if “challenge” is the correct word but what I believe is that our psychology is influenced by what we have seen during the formative years of adolescence.

Furthermore, our family environment is really important for all of us whether it is a nuclear or extended family. Since our first education starts, it evolves with the family. Generally, we copy our parent’s behaviors and implement that system into our lives. Let’s say if your family is likely to trend to violence, it is an undeniable fact is that somehow you will be affected by that environment.

What about Technology…

On the other hand, with the new era, we cannot deny that there are technological developments. Moreover, we already involved in social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. We all spend too much time with these tools and sometimes it is just for fun but sometimes for fighting or explaining ourselves to people that we never met.

How Does Social Media Help to Identify Illness?

According to statistics, the rate of social media usage is really high and it is more common among young people. Also, the rate of mental illness among young people is the highest one when compared to other ages.

So, how social media can help is that young people are both the highest utilizers of social media and among those at the highest risk for the development of mental illness. Based on their post on social media, it is not difficult to come up with the result.

Let’s think deeply about it. For example, when I feel nervous, mostly I watch some TED talk videos to be able to feel more relax and see other people who have the same problems as me. Why? Because in that way I feel I am not alone. In my case, instead of typing some aggressive things on Facebook, I prefer to watch videos. However, some people, especially young people might prefer to post messages on Facebook and based on the language that they used can bring into the open their behaviors at that moment.

As we know, the Facebook algorithm gathers information about us using our location, political views, religion, etc and identifies many things about us even we think we are good at hiding them. Even though we cannot share our feeling with another person, these social media helps us somehow to do not feel lonely. At the same time, it can help to find out our psychological issues if we have.

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