I am so sorry to inform all you lovely journos, but you will all shortly be suffering from ‘Facebook Syndrome’ due to your extensive use of social media on this module!
On the way into town this morning I grabbed myself a ‘Metro’ (as you do), and I am always on the look out for articles that involve social media stories or information, just so I am all up-to-date with this new way of life. So how pleased was I when I came across an article by Kirsteen Paterson titled ‘Facebook Syndrome’.
The jist of the article was that extensive use of social networking sites can cause depression, a higher chance of self-harming and mental health problems, due to missing sleep, school and meals in order to access Facebook (etc) profiles. Apparently it is quite serious, with people being housebound and not able to leave their computers. Psychologist Dr Jane Morris says that mental health patients should be assessed on their computer usage along with all the other tests.
Personally, I would like to think that it is a tiny minority of social networkers that are effected in this way, and that most people are strong enough to let go of that computer mouse! But then again, I do know people who turn to Facebook instead of their family in times of trouble, and publish their heartache or woe on ‘Friends’ walls – so maybe Facebook is becoming too much of an addiction. I wonder if there is a name for a social network addict? Maybe using these sites and seeing people’s posts can make you feel anxious, which is understandable in some cases, but the word ‘depression’ strikes me as such a horrific outcome.
I think to stop us Journos getting depressed we should have a group huggle every day! ‘I do believe in fairys, I do, I do!’
Here is a link to a discussion on Facebook to decide whether or not Facebook causes depression. There are some interesting comments – note ‘Lauren’.