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The Impact of Technology on Mental Health

In the contemporary world, symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety, and other mental disorders have become more prevalent among university students. Researchers have proven that time spent on social media, videos, and Instant messaging is directly associated with psychological distress. This bibliography examines different literature discussing how technology affects mental wellness.

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The scope of this research is to uncover the consequences of technology use on mental health. The research question above will help examine the relationship between technology use and how this action results in mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Information used in this study includes both primary and secondary sources focusing on their observational and experimental data analysis.

The article explores how web-based social networking is a significant limitation to mental health. Deepa and Priya (2020) introduce a concept of time whereby they explain that the hours spent on social networking platforms promote depression and anxiety (Deepa & Priya, 2020). Some of the digital technology students use are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other web-based sites platforms, which have become a threat to mental health (Deepa & Priya, 2020). The authors explain that researchers discovered that excessive social media use was linked to mental illnesses during schooling. However, it may be alleviated by dialectical thinking, positivity, meditation, and active coping.

The authors used descriptive research using simple sampling questionnaires and ANOVA to study different groups of students and the social media platforms they use. This system provided mixed results based on these groups and examinations (Deepa & Priya, 2020). The research findings revealed a relationship between being active on social media and depression. The authors contradict a study done by Gordon et al. (2007) that mentions that the time spent on the internet has nothing to do with depression (Deepa & Priya, 2020). Instead, it is what students engage in when they are active online. This study is credible because it is not outdated and involved many participants, which helped strengthen the hypothesis created. This source will be integral in answering the types of technology students use and their consequences on mental wellness. Additionally, the journal’s credibility is guaranteed, considering that the article is an international publication. This title indicates that the journal has been peer-reviewed by many other scholars to ensure the information provided is accurate.

The article examines how internet use affects well-being by analyzing the rate of internet use among college students. Gordon et al. (2007) mention that technology use is triggered by self-expression, consumptive motives, and sharing information. In this study, Gordon et al. (2007) posit that frequency of internet use does not affect mental illness. Instead, they mention that what students do on those platforms is the factor that contributes to mental illness.

First, they mention that the internet has provided ways for students to get new acquaintances, find intimate partners, and conduct research for their college assignments, among other things. This factor indicates that these students’ daily life has become increasingly reliant on the internet (Gordon et al., 2007). Therefore, increased internet use has formed a new environment, full of peer pressure. This explanation is an indication of what they do on the internet. The reason is that they see, admire, and adopt new habits which increase stress and depressive symptoms. Additionally, overdependence on technology has affected family cohesion and social connectedness.

The article provides similar ideologies as Junco et al. (2011) that technology causes social isolation by keeping students from the realities in their environment. It explains that students live a fictional life by actively engaging in technology to hide their true selves (Gordon et al., 2007). The research is valid considering it applies rationales from different authors to justify their deduction that technology use has become an avenue for peer pressure among students. This article is essential since it explains the negative impact of technology on mental health, which is explored in this research. It is also a scholarly article considering that these authors have doctors of philosophy in education, indicating vast knowledge and command to undertake this research.

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These researchers use unique survey data to investigate the adverse effects of instant messaging on academic achievement. They explain that instant messaging is not destructive since it can provide company when needed. However, excessive use of instant messaging reduces concentration by diverting the mind’s attention away from the facts of the surroundings. Students lose focus when multitasking activities like chatting while studying (Junco & Cotten, 2011). It also impacts the essential, incidental, and representational processing systems, the foundation for learning and memory. When they fail their tests, they become withdrawn with significant effects, such as anxiety and depression.

Additionally, the authors mention that students using IM become socially disengaged since IM becomes their point of contact with others. Considering all these effects, it is evident that IM can cause anxiety, depression, and social isolation if not regulated. Unlike Gordon et al. (2007), who mention only the detrimental effects of using technology, these authors mention that IM, an example of technology, helps students manage stress (Junco & Cotten, 2011). They explain that through a survey of a target group whereby students reported that IM and other online platforms such as video games had provided contact with the outside world, which relieves stress.

This article’s viability is uncertain because most arguments presented are derived from other researchers’ work (Junco & Cotten, 2011). However, the article is helpful for my research because it provides the negative and positive effects of using technology. The position of this research is that IM can help deal with stress. The viability of this research is verified considering the research has been reviewed by Mendeley Company which generates citations for scholarly articles.

Karim et al. (2020) explore how social media impacts mental health. They begin by conducting a qualitative analysis of 16 different studies provided by various researchers on the topic (Karim et al., 2020). First, they listed different types of social media platforms, including Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, to be the most widely used social media platforms among the youth. They also mention that social media has become an influential technology in the contemporary world (Karim et al., 2020). Although social media has incredible benefits, it is linked to various mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Some works agreed that social media use is detrimental to mental well-being, and the timing does not matter (Karim et al., 2020). In contrast, other studies suggested that no evidence justifies the maximum time one should be active on social media. None of the research provided the limit of time recommended for anyone to be active on social media.

The credibility of the piece is jeopardized because the researchers did not conduct their study to identify the correlation between mental health and technology (Karim et al., 2020). However, it provides substantial ideas drawn from other credible sources, which are essential in providing information addressing this topic. For example, their position is that long hours of social media use contribute to depression and anxiety (Karim et al., 2020). This focus is integral in my research since it addresses the impact of technology on mental health by explaining the possible avenues for mental health crises.

Lattie et al. (2019) investigate how the rise in mental disorders such as anxiety and depression correlates with computing technologies. According to these authors, personal computing technologies such as smartphones have become the source of mental health crises since they provide access to social media (Lattie et al., 2019). This platform has promoted harmful ideas that make people experience peer comparison. For instance, “fear of missing out (FOMO) is a pressure promoted by media which dictates how people interact, behave and talk within these platforms” (Lattie et al., 2019, para. 8). FOMO is when people feel the need to fit in with a specific trend by emulating verbatim how their internet friends behave, dress or talk. For instance, if all the girls on social media put on branded clothes for attention, every girl on the platform would also want to be like them. This pressure will result in stress to keep up with the standards set, promoting mental health disorders. These authors conclude that the pressure to feel accepted has increased the number of students negatively affected by technology.

However, the authors also mention that this digital platform has played a significant role in promoting mental health wellness. In addition, some of the interventions available such as the Headspace and Pacifica applications, are technology-enabled and provide coping skills when students face a crisis (Lattie et al., 2019). Lattie et al. (2019) provide similar sentiments as Junco et al. (2011), who also stated that technology is not entirely to blame for mental crises considering that activities such as assimilation of culture affect well-being. Additionally, this article is relevant since it has applied different up-to-date scholarly reasoning to create a hypothesis (Lattie et al., 2019). Finally, the article’s position is that social media promotes mental health by providing coping skills while also deteriorating it by contributing to disorders such as depression. However, this information is contrary to what Junco et al. (2011) mention that technology has the power to relieve stress by providing a coping mechanism.

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The article provides informative discussions on the risks that digital presence has promoted. Skillbred-Fjeld et al. (2020) mention that many people have experienced harassment online based on their appearance, ethnicity, age, race, and religion. This exposure to bullying has resulted in psychological distress such as depression and suicidal thoughts. The authors indicate that most students spend more hours on digital media than how they spend with families and friends while also being more exposed to harassment. This disconnect is also a challenge to maintaining mental health, considering it breaks the bond between families and friends.

These authors stress that cyberbullying is a prevalent occurrence in online engagement and has detrimental effects on individuals. This article does not share similar rationales with other articles in this search since it focuses on proving how cyberbullying results in mental illness. The article answers the proposed research question, and its position is that cyberbullying affects most students using digital communication systems (Skilbred-Fjeld et al., 2020). The article is credible for this research since the author engaged in intensive searches, which enhanced the viability of the information provided.

In her article “Cyberspace and Identity,” Turkle (1999) posits that the development of cyberspace interactions has extended the range of identities. The author establishes her case with four essential points. Her first observation is that digital presence is based on fiction and not reality. Second, she claims that digital profile results from a digital exhibition that does not last. The third point made by Turkle (1999) is that online identity affects real self-considering the fact that it affects thoughts and behaviors). Finally, she claims that online identity exemplifies a cultural conception of diversity.

This author introduces the aspect of role-playing promoted by digital presence. She mentions that people are given a chance to portray themselves in a different light from reality on digital platforms considering the anonymity established when altering self-image through textual construction (Turkle, 1999). The research by Gordon et al. (2007) reinforced this claim when they mentioned that digital engagement does not cause mental illness. Instead, what students do on those platforms is the primary factor contributing to mental illness (Turkle, 1999). This factor is relatable in the current digital world since people share their adventurous moments, making others who cannot enjoy such things feel unworthy, posing a significant threat to mental wellness. The article’s position is that images portrayed on digital platforms are illusions, and they have promoted peer pressure, anxiety, and depression in people who believe them to be true (Turkle, 1999). The same sentiments are shared by Skilbred-Fjeld et al. (2020) since they mention that social media has become a site to dehumanize others who are less privileged. This occurrence promotes fear, self-hate, and depression, indicating a match in reasoning among these authors.

References

Deepa, M., & Priya, K. (2020). Impact of social media on mental health of students. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 9(03). Web.

Gordon, C., Juang, L., & Syed, M. (2007). Internet use and well-being among college students: Beyond frequency of use. Journal of College Student Development, 48(6), 674-688. Web.

Junco, R., & Cotten, S. R. (2011). Perceived academic effects of instant messaging use.

Computer & Education, 56(2), 370-378. Web.

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Karim, F., Oyewande, A. A., Abdalla, L. F., Ehsanullah, R. C., & Khan, S. (2020). Social media use and its connection to mental health: A systematic review. Cureus, 12(6). Web.

Lattie, E. G., Lipson, S. K., & Eisenberg, D. (2019). Technology and college student mental health: Challenges and opportunities. Frontiers in psychiatry, (10), 246. Web.

Skilbred-Fjeld, S., Reme, S. E., & Mossige, S. (2020). Cyberbullying involvement and mental health problems among late adolescents. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 14(1). Web.

Turkle, S. (1999). Looking toward cyberspace: Beyond grounded sociology. Cyberspace and identity. Contemporary Sociology, 28(6), Web.

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