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The Media and Depression

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Husky, Dec 17, 2014.


Do you think the media and social media is more positive or negative in our lives?

  1. Positive

    0 vote(s)
  2. Negative

    31 vote(s)
  3. Neutral

    5 vote(s)
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  1. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    It seems that these days, we are inundated by breaking news and stories of sombreness and despair have become resolute fixtures in our everyday lives. We turn on the television, computer or radio, and our feelings of happiness are turned off and replaced by feelings of grief and sorrow because someone has hurt someone or someone has got hurt.

    In 1997, Ninemsn which is an Australian media website was launched online. This website is relevant to channel 9 which is one of Australia’s regular television stations. Before sites like Ninemsn, we only really heard about tragic events on the 6:00PM news or in tomorrow’s newspaper. Now though, the media is like a 7-eleven store running rampant 24/7 and sharing all the melancholy which the world has to offer and all the joy which has been taken from the world. The average teenager is exposed to 8.5 hours of electronic media a day and here’s an interesting point from a study done:

    “Participants had significantly greater odds of developing depression by follow-up for each hour of daily television viewed”
    (Source: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/02/06/excess-media-in-teen-years-may-cause-depression/3962.html)

    Then there is Social Media where websites can be conducive to segregation and vitriol of not only a person as an individual, but the people as a whole. For example, such websites promote accepting and rejecting friendship requests and vandalising people’s walls with messages of denigration and resentment. You may also say something in a moment of haste and unclarity, but one thing is clear, that comment you posted on the Internet is there forever. Here are some statistics from some research done in 2011 from which social media has only grown since then:

    “One Million Children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the year of 2011”
    (Source: http://www.internetsafety101.org/cyberbullyingstatistics.htm)

    “2.2 Million Students experienced cyberbullying in 2011” and “71.9% reported being cyber bullied once or twice in the school year”
    (Source: http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/statistics.htm)

    For the record, the Megan Meier Foundation was created as an awareness organisation as a result of the death of Megan Meier who experienced cyber bullying on MySpace. She was only 13.

    Overreacting to the media is a possibility as everybody reacts differently; but one thing is for certain and that is that the media has an overwhelming presence in our lives and this can’t be underestimated. Yes, we do have a choice not to watch the television, listen to the radio or interact with the computer. In a sense, we are liberal when it comes to choosing what we want to know when it comes to the constraints of media reporting. The media also keep us up to date and knowledgeable with facts and information which we would have not known about if we did not learn it from this vast resource.

    Social Media can also be seen as a pleasurable thing by wishing somebody happy birthday or congratulating someone on their first child or new husband or wife. It can also allow people to share their treasured experiences such as holidays they’ve experienced at exotic islands. So it also can keep people updated on exciting things which happen locally in someone’s life when under ordinary circumstances, the sharing of such experiences could have been lost without social media and global broadcasting.

    I have setup a poll on this. Do you think the media and social media is more of a positive or negative element in our lives? I welcome your comments as well. I know there are many opinions on how the media is viewed and maybe even a few ideas on how the media can be better channelled and become a good publication for us all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2014
  2. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Neutral as people are given the choice what to watch/read. People can ingore it if they want.
  3. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi DrownedFishOnFire, I'd like to thank you for your response. It's very much appreciated. Thank you also to all the people who have read this thread and taken the time to vote. Please feel free to comment further or vote if you would like to do so. Husky
  4. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi, Thank you to everyone who has read this thread, voted and commented so far. Further comments and votes are still welcome. Husky
  5. aTALLmidget

    aTALLmidget Member

    It currently feels more negative and filled with reports of bad things that have happened rather than good.
  6. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi aTALLmidget, Thank you so much for your response. It's greatly appreciated. I noticed that there were many negative stories on the news tonight when I watched the news as well. All the stories I saw before the first advertisement were about something negative which had happened. It would be good to see more human interest stories which have a happy connotation on the television anyway. Thank you again. Husky
  7. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi, I saw a great story a couple of days ago on the television about how a girl is raising money to buy someone a fully trained Guide Dog. The girl gave away her Christmas money and is also running a campaign asking for donations to raise money for the cause. This amazing girl is only eight years old but seems to have maturity and morality beyond her years as she wants to do more community service too. This story really uplifted me and is a great example of how the media can be used for good purposes. Apart from broadcasting a very inspiring story, it's also promoting and aiding a very worthwhile campaign. Further comments are always welcome and everybody's input is appreciated. Thank you, Husky
  8. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Wow so far not one "positive" answer. Very interesting.
  9. Dan99

    Dan99 Active Member

    I think mainstream media is full of crap....... it often distorts the truth to serve the needs of the elite who rule the planet........... they want to mold us and control us.
  10. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi fromthatshow and Dan99, Thank you both for your responses and interest in this topic. Dan99, when we look at media ownership and how moguls own substantial portions of the media, I can see your point with biases. Maybe social media is a good way of letting the public have a voice and to try to negate such tendencies. Thank you both for your responses again which are very much appreciated. Voting and the opportunity to let your voice be heard via comments is still open if you would like to share your thoughts. Thank you, Husky
  11. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi, Thank you to everybody who has voted via the poll and shared their thoughts on this topic. There was a controversial advertisement during the 2015 Super Bowl titled 'Make Safe Happen'. There were many comments on Twitter which reacted unfavourably to this advertisement and many people were quite upset by it. Some believe the advertisement is about preventing childhood deaths and some feel it's about selling insurance in a very sinister way. I think it's a good example of how we got hit by the advertisement via the media and then the reaction via social media which was all predominantly negative.

    Please note, voting is still open and people are more than welcome to share their comments if they would like to do so. Thank you, Husky
  12. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi, I read an article this week that Facebook are going to use its interface to help prevent suicide. It's clear that Facebook has previously been an application which has been used as a means for bullying and that it has contributed to the loss of people's lives. However, this new initiative has been worked on for years by Facebook which is pleasing to know because they have recgonised a problem exists and they are trying to do something about it.

    Providing users with the tools to report concerning posts has the capacity to help a lot of people too ensuring that everybody can enjoy a safe experience when using Facebook and that those who need help can get help. However, the initiative does also pose questions of privacy and Facebook responding to content which can be personal. It also poses a concern in terms of timing. For example, a user may post in the first week of the month but not revisit Facebook until the fourth week of that month. How do they get the help straight away? Also, users are reporting posts they think are concerning but are the posts really bullying or life threatening? Are people going to report false positives and perhaps use the tools as a means of retribution on a person or group of people.

    Thank you to everybody who has voted and shared their comments on this subject. Voting is still open and everybody is more than welcome to share their comments. Thank you, Husky
  13. mismad

    mismad Active Member

    Social media can be negative because people are free to post their opinion about others, including the sinister, and negative words.
    Actually in real life when we socializing, people are free to comment about others too. Some of people are able to handle that while the other aren't able to handle that words. :boom:
  14. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    Bad news travels faster than good. And with so many different bad things going on - there's a lot more "scaremongering" tactics used in order to keep us from truly being free.

    In the UK - there's a clear example of the "unfairness" of life - We have a National Minimum Wage - which employers have to legally abide by - but we also have a National Living Wage (which is over £1 greater in value per hour). It keeps people below a poverty line, and makes for "following sheepish" behaviours that we see a number of people doing.

    Those who seem to oppose any part of what the governments do - even in First World countries, are more likely to suffer with depression because they struggle to fit in - often get thrown pills by medics and that then "tempers" their uniqueness, effectively wiping out what makes them different if they allow it, yet the smarter the person, the less they want to follow what people "sheepishly" do.
  15. Cicada 3301

    Cicada 3301 Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I voted negative but didn't fully understand the question until I read OP's post. I would like to think that if this includes everybody, then social media has a more positive impact than negative. Media I don't know, i watch the news a lot, sometimes can sit and watch the news all day or have it in the background if nothing else is on or if im busy on my laptop. Doesn't have a negative impact for me but I can understand how it would for a lot of people.
  16. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi mismad, meaningless-vessel and Cicada 3301, Thank you all for your responses. They are greatly appreciated and valued. It's true that people can post comments online which are sinister and also deliver harsh words face to face. I think that a concern with social media is that people can do this and choose to remain anonymous. This anonymity provides people with a means to hide behind a mask and generate counter productive comments, which probably would not have been openly said face to face or without this mask. The other side of this is that social media can encourage shy people to communicate. I think this is like someone who gets stage fright but loves theatrical work. Here they can still be a big part of the theatrical picture by being a puppeteer for example.

    Yes, there are ‘scaremongering’ tactics which are employed by the media, government and police. In 2001, a bullied schoolboy who was fifteen years old kept a diary to vent his emotions and mentioned that he wished somebody would destroy his school. The diary was discovered by a Government Minister who gloated about how he had saved the lives of many students and the reporters also got in on the act by joining the media circus. It was later proved that this was not even a remote possibility of happening. The Government Minister tried to vindicate his beliefs via the media by saying that the student had weapons. This was not true either. Another isolated example, was when the Police Commissioner of my state at the time said the country I live in was on the verge of an impending terrorist attack by certain men. Raids were conducted and the men were tried. Again, no evidence of an attack happening was ever corroborated.

    It’s great to know that the news can be watched on a regular basis and not affect some individuals. I think it’s even better to know that individuals can objectively look at the topic and think of the people as a whole when they cast a vote.

    Thank you for all of your comments and votes. It’s terrific to see and hear what people have to post about this topic.

    Thank you, Husky
  17. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox SF Supporter

    Cyber-bullying is not the only problem. This new application of facebook's does have potential, but it does not cover all the problems. I find it unfortunately narrow and short-sighted in terms of what it addresses. It over simplifies the problems that people experience. I do agree that cyber bullying is a valid issue, but it is only a facet of myriad that is people's lives.

    It has good attentions, but I feel that it misguides people into thinking that issues can solved with a bandaid.

    Cyber bullying was never a problem for me. Facebook itself caused be far more hurt than it, in that it. I believe, makes it far more easy for vulnerable and sensitive persons to be exposed to the sorts of thoughts that they are missing out on life, that there friends are so much better off, that they are losers, that they are not half as included as people in the general group are.

    Facebook, good idea - but you could have done without putting a nice neat label on the problem and solution that is being focused on. Personally, after I visit facebook, I always end up slipping into a funk that is hard to get out of.
    I am not saying that any one's point is invalid. I am only pointing that, in my opinion, they (facebook) only have part of the whole.
  18. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi Forest Creature, Thank you for sharing your perspective on this and your opinion is valued. I think that it's good that people have the opportunity to express their views on this topic and you're right in stating that there's not necessarily a right or wrong answer. I concur with you about there being a gamut of issues which can arise out of any social networking website but I do believe that Cyber Bullying is one of the major issues too. You're correct and I acknowledge that people can visit social networking websites and find so many things which they are missing out on. Inclusion is a good example and exclusion can also be a component of Cyber Bullying or any Bullying as well. I really appreciate your thoughts on this and thank you for providing a fresh and insightful point of view on this topic. Thank you, Husky
  19. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I voted negative because it seems like every time I hear about something, read about it or hear it on TV, it is something bad. Sometimes just watching the news or going on Facebook can make me depressed, just because it makes me wonder about the state of the world and why all these bad things are happening. I try to avoid it the best I can, but it still can get me down at times. Maybe it's because I'm sensitive and that affects me more, but I wish there would be more positive news stories and things that will lift peoples spirits instead of bringing them down.
  20. Husky

    Husky Well-Known Member

    Hi Witty_Sarcasm, Thank you for your highly valued post and vote. I can relate to your perspective about the media predominantly portraying stories of adversity and misfortune as opposed to stories of hope and triumph. I think another factor to consider is the repetitiveness of such stories which contain a tragedy component. For example, on Australian television last year three of the bigger stories were the Sydney Hostage Crisis, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and they were replayed over and over. Actually, the link below shows the top 14 stories of 2014 in the Australian media and more are negative than positive:


    Thank you for your post and for your terrific input. It’s greatly appreciated. Husky
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2015
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