Kan sosiale media depressie genees?

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tropMark Earl s'n boek, trop, was vir my 'n moeilike leesstuk. Moet dit nie verkeerd neem nie. Dit is 'n wonderlike boek wat ek op Hugh McLeod se blog gevind het.

Ek sê 'taai', want dit is nie 'n 10,000 XNUMX voet aansig nie. Kudde (hoe om massagedrag te verander deur ons ware aard te benut) is 'n ingewikkelde boek wat 'n oorvloed van studies en data deeglik uiteensit om met sy kernuitgangspunt vorendag te kom. Mark Earls is ook nie jou gemiddelde sakeskrywer nie - as ek sy boek lees, voel dit asof ek 'n boek lees wat heeltemal buite my liga is (dit is regtig!). As u 'n intellektueel is en diep, diep denke en die ondersteunende kriteria waardeer, is dit u boek.

As jy dit soos ek vals maak, is dit ook 'n wonderlike boek. 🙂 Ek kan sommige van die ryk inhoud vermink deur hieroor te skryf, maar wat is dit! Ek gaan daarvoor.

Sosiale media pilEen onderwerp wat Mark aanraak, is depressie. Mark noem twee algemene oorsake van depressie - die verhouding van ouers met hul kind en die verhouding van iemand met ander mense. Ek kan nie help om te wonder of sosiale media nie die beste alternatief is nie Prozac vir die genesing van sosiale kwale soos depressie. Sosiale media bied 'n belofte om kontak te maak met ander wat nie buite u plaaslike kring tuis, op kantoor of selfs in u omgewing is nie.

Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, Versamel, aanlyn-speletjies ... al hierdie toepassings is nie bloot 'Web 2.0' nie, maar is 'n manier om met mekaar te kommunikeer. Geen wonder waarom sosiale toepassings so gewild is nie. Is dit nie baie makliker om mense met die veiligheid van die internet tussen ons oop te maak nie?

Op 'n konferensie 'n paar maande gelede onthou ek 'n vrou wat gevra het:

Wie is hierdie mense en hoe is hulle die hele dag deur aanlyn? Het hulle nie 'n lewe nie?

Dit is 'n interessante perspektief !, is dit nie? Ek vermoed dat dit vir baie mense is hul lewe. Dit is hul verbintenis met ander, hul stokperdjies, hul belangstellings, hul vriende en hul ondersteuning. In die verlede moes 'n 'alleenloper' regtig alleen woon. Maar vandag hoef 'n 'alleenloper' nie! Hy / sy kan ander alleenlopers met dieselfde stokperdjies vind!

Sommige kan redeneer dat hierdie soort 'sosiale' netwerk en die gepaardgaande veiligheidsnet nie so gesond is as 'n werklike verhouding en menslike kontak nie. Dit mag wel reg wees ... maar ek is nie seker dat mense dit as 'n alternatief beskou nie. Vir baie mense is dit is hul enigste manier om te kommunikeer.

Op die hoërskool was 'n vriend van my, Mark, 'n wonderlike kunstenaar. Hy was 'n groot beer van 'n ou. Hy het 'n vol baard in die 10de klas gehad en het strokiesprente geskryf met verhale van Vampires and Werewolves. Ek was mal daaroor om saam met Mark te kuier, maar ek kon altyd sien dat hy ongemaklik was vir almal - selfs vir my. Ek dink hy was glad nie depressief nie, maar hy was nogal stil, behalwe vir die af en toe grom (ek grom terug).

Ek kan my eerlik voorstel dat Mark 'n bekende eklektiese kunstenaar is, of dat hy miskien vandag alleen in die woestyn woon. Ek kan egter nie help om te wonder nie. As Mark 'n blog en 'n uitlaatklep gehad het om sy ongelooflike verhale te publiseer, sou ek dink dat hy met duisende ander mense met dieselfde belangstellings verbind het. Hy sou 'n sosiale netwerk gehad het - 'n netwerk van vriende en aanhangers wat hom aangemoedig en waardeer het.

Ek lei geensins af dat ons bloggers deur middel van ons skryfwerk aan depressie of eensaamheid ontsnap nie. Ons doen; Gebruik egter baie respek van ons lesers. Ek is nie anders nie. As ek sien dat iemand op 'n ander blogger saamtrek wat 'n vriend van my is, sal ek inspring en hom verdedig. As ek hoor van 'n blogger wat siek is, bid ek opreg vir hom en sy gesin. En as 'n blogger ophou blog, mis ek dit regtig.

As ek 'n week van 50 tot 60 werk en 'n enkelvader is, het ek nie veel daarvan nie "n lewe" (soos gedefinieer deur die vrou wat ek genoem het) buite my blog en loopbaan. Ironies genoeg is my lewe aanlyn is ongelooflik ondersteunend, gelukkig en belowend. Ek is regtig 'n gelukkige (nie-medisyne maar oorgewig) man. Ek glo nie dat ek die een deur die ander probeer vervang nie. Ek dink albei is net so belangrik en lonend. Trouens, ek glo dat my 'aanlyn' lewe my daartoe gedryf het om 'n beter kommunikeerder in my 'regte' lewe te wees. Dit is vir my terapeuties om te skryf en dit voel goed as ek terugvoer kry oor my skryfwerk (al is dit negatief).

Die waarheid is, as ek nie die ondersteuningsnetwerk het wat ek by u het nie, sal ek waarskynlik kon ongelukkig wees en in depressie kan verval. Ek sal waarskynlik snags videospeletjies speel en my kollegas bedags ellendig maak.

Ek neem eerder my Web 2.0-pille elke dag.

9 Comments

  1. 1

    First off I don’t believe that the social Web 2.0 presence stuff like Twitter, blogs and the such are anywhere near a cure for things like depression and I defintely don’t agree with Mark’s reasoning for the causes of depression.

    That said however I do believe that in some ways our intercommunication through the web does help one’s self-esteem, sense of wellbeing and in some cases help one through some really difficult periods in one’s life. I will qualify that though that I don’t place blogs on the same level as Twtitter and the such (I’ll be doing something on that one of these days very soon).

    For example as part of WinExtra I also have an IRC channel that is semi-invite (especially if I know folks actually do IRC in the first place) and one of my close friend’s in the last year realize that he needed to make a serious live change to over come an addiction. He was successfull – well as successful as one can be with an addicition – but he said to me one day that if it wasn’t for the IRC channel and the people there he honestly didn’t know if he would have made it through that very dark time.

    In one other case that just happened one of the longtime mebers of the WinExtra forums and IRC channel stopped posting or showing up in channel. In turn two members in the US became very concerned and began the process of trying to track him done to make sure he was okay. Well today he suddenly appeared in channel and it was like a long lost friend finally coming back home – both for him and us.

    This is community and while it didn’t ogignate in the Web 2.0 world of social networks I will take that over any Facebook or Twitter community anytime. Along with that I think it shows that if an online community has longevity and depth of friends (which if you understand that our forums as small as they might be have been around for six plus years) it does make a part of a person’s life better and gives you a feeling of belonging – which really is all we as human being want from our lives.

  2. 2

    Hallo Steven,

    I warned that I may have mutilated Mark’s words… looks like I did! Mark references some articles on depression and doesn’t state that these are definitively the only sources of depression – these are just a couple that were mentioned. The theory of Social Media and it’s opportunity to help depression is not Mark’s, it’s one that I wonder about.

    Awesome story about your community and I agree with you – belonging is ultimately what everyone needs to be healthy. I think Social Media leaves us open to ‘belong’ to communities that we never would have been exposed to otherwise.

    Thanks for the exceptional comment!
    Doug

  3. 3

    Excellent post, Doug! I find social networking a way to keep in touch with the moods and lives of many people that I consider to be friends, some of them even close friends, and impact other lives that I otherwise would not have enough hours in the day to do so. If I see a friend in need, I am able to quickly get in touch to see what I can do to provide support. I’ve also gained friends (yourself included!) through electronic communication that I otherwise might not have come to know quite as well, which in turn has turned into offline friendships as well.

    P.S. I missed your daily writings while you were busy with your project and transition. I’m so glad to see your posts recently!

    • 4

      Thanks Julie! I’m trying to get back to a good pace but I’m struggling. I work long hours and I’ve added exercise (imagine that!) to the mix. I haven’t figured out the right formula yet – I’m pretty cranky and tired.

      I’ll get there!

  4. 5

    I completely agree with the theory that using social media sites is a good therapeutic thing to do. For me, I have found that it is very good and freeing for me to write about my feelings. Even if no one reads them. There is power in actually writing it down. I also love sites like Facebook and MySpace. They allow people to connect more than they maybe would if they didn’t have that connection. Thanks for posting this information about social media sites. I hope that more and more people find the good in it.

    • 6

      We’re definitely social animals, aren’t we Jason? If there’s no means for us to socialize, I’m confident that that can lead to many social disorders and can cascade into other issues.

      Like you, I really find writing as a great pressure release valve. As well, when someone thanks me or posts about what I’ve written – that does wonders for the ol’ self esteem!

  5. 7

    I feel that the pain from depression can in fact be alleviated as a result of engaging in social media activities. Look at case studies from individuals who partake in Second Life for example. They can create avatars based on the physical attributes they want and connect with people on levels they may never have been able to before. That’s just one example.

    I personally was witness to how social media can help. I was monitoring a MySpace depression group discussion to analyze how people suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, etc. rely on these communities for support. While watching the conversation unfold I watched as an individual discussed harming herself. The community immediately jumped in and helped her out. It was as if the MySpace community acted as her lifeline.

    I think with where social media is going we will see more services become available dedicated to specific niches. Pasiënte soos ek (a past client of mine who I was doing research for at the time) is bringing people suffering from various types of depression together so they can share their experiences and connect with one another. It’s an amazing tool and just goes to show you how powerful social networks are in keeping a persons feet on the ground. The good thing is a social network like PLM only lets people suffering from a condition join in the group. This greatly increases the participation level because they know they aren’t alone.

    Thanks for this great post Doug!

  6. 9

    I think that social media can help people deal with depression, why not?

    My philosophy is that everyone of us, and everything on earth are all connected. We all originated from a single source of energy, and depression is a result of a feeling of being separated from this source.

    Yeah I know it all sounds pretty new agey. But it is a simple concept, and it make sense to me.

    I dont think that social media is a cure, but it does bring people together, and that is what we all crave in our core being.

    My step-daughter spends most of her online time on a site called nexopia. She has met many of her friends, locally and from other places on this social networking site. Social sites help us meet people with similar interests, and are a tool to keep us in touch with current, and old friends.

    I have been reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. This book goes into detail about why we feel depression, anxiety and more.

    He offers up the solution to “live in the now” as a cure. I agree, and also recomment this book for anyone interested in a philisophical guide to happiness.

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