SMAC (Social Media and Mental health Attitudinal Change) is an initiative born out of deep concern. This concerns borders on the negative effect of the use of social media among people of all strata in the society.
Social media has become an integrated part of daily life, with an estimated 3 billion social media users worldwide. Adolescents and young adults are the most active users of social media.
Since it’s a relatively new technology, there’s little research to establish the long-term consequences, good or bad, of social media use.
However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.
Social media may promote negative experiences such as:
- Inadequacy about your life or appearance. Even if you know that images you’re viewing on social media are manipulated, they can still make you feel insecure about how you look or what’s going on in your own life.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO). While FOMO has been around far longer than social media, sites such as Facebook and Instagram seem to exacerbate feelings that others are having more fun or living better lives than you are. The idea that you’re missing out on certain things can impact your self-esteem, trigger anxiety, and fuel even greater social media use.
- Depression and anxiety.Human beings need face-to-face contact to be mentally healthy. Nothing reduces stress and boosts your mood faster or more effectively than eye-to-eye contact with someone who cares about you. The more you prioritize social media interaction over in-person relationships, the more you’re at risk for developing or exacerbating mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
- Cyberbullying. About 10 percent of teens report being bullied on social media and many other users are subjected to offensive comments. Social media platforms such as Twitter can be hotspots for spreading hurtful rumors, lies, and abuse that can leave lasting emotional scars.
- Isolation. A study at the University of Pennsylvania USA found that high usage of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increases rather than decreases feelings of loneliness. Conversely, the study found that reducing social media usage can actually make you feel less lonely and isolated and improve your overall wellbeing.
The aforementioned are some of the elaborate reasons why SMAC was born. We want to reverse the dominant and negative effect of social media in our society. For any form of enquiry of help, please get in touch by clicking the button below.
Meet Our Facilitators/counsellors
Jack is an experienced Counselor who was once a victim of cyber bullying.
Cynthia have help sizeable number of people regain their sanity from social media.