Social Media Is Creating A Societal Mess [Opinion]

Tuesday, October 10 (2017), was World Mental Health Day. Throughout my next few articles, I will be spotlighting various current event topics in connection with public mental health. There is wide perception we are in the midst of a mental health crisis. The recent, tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas underscores this call for some.

All that time we spend on social media could be carrying consequences. At a time when Mark Zuckerberg’s vision statement for Facebook (which, at over two billion users, has arguably the most recognizable brand on the internet) puts heavy emphasis on increasing global cohesion, plenty of research seems to indicate the world is, ironically, feels more divided than ever. There are many potential indicators of this predicament.

“I used to think that if we just gave people a voice and helped people connect, that would make the world a better place by itself. Now, I believe we have a responsibility to do even more.”

For example, Americans are increasingly anxious. Zuckerberg’s goal of bringing about more social togetherness should be helping people feel more, well together, shouldn’t it? Not if recent research is any guide. It turns out, what has been billed as a boon, may actually be a boondoggle. The solution may, debatably, be found in many avenues. Professional counseling, prescription medication, or self-medication may be utilized.

Our society, come to think of it, seems to be on a perpetual hampster wheel of sorts. We are always running. We run out of items, on errands, and into people. Some among even run for positions, such as public office. After all this running, it is no wonder we are exhausted.

For the Christian, there is an answer to anxiety. There is deliverance from depression. Strength through stress. Jesus  knew we would feel overwhelmed at times, and He told us how to find relaxation. His advice can be found in Matthew chapter eleven verse twenty – eight, where Christ said,

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The Bible,  gives Jesus many names, one of which (according to Isaiah chapter nine verse six), is Prince of Peace.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Harvard Business Review said, last year, that we are in the age of social media. Perhaps, shockingly to many Americans, not everyone has a smartphone. However, just over forty percent of the world does have internet access. It’s interesting that it doesn’t look like as much of a digital age outside of the confines of America. Could the United States be in a self-imposed bubble, unable to realize reality?

Well, almost half Our smartphone users are self-admittedly, addictively glued to a screen. Speaking of screens, stay tuned for a discussion on gaming and television viewing as a form of escapism. Coming soon to a screen near you. See what I did there?

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