Mogu li društveni mediji izliječiti depresiju?

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kuhaloMarka Earla knjiga, kuhalo, bilo je teško za mene čitanje. Nemojte to pogrešno shvatiti. To je nevjerojatna knjiga koju sam pronašao putem bloga Hugha McLeoda.

Kažem 'teško' jer to nije pogled na 10,000 stopa. Stado (Kako promijeniti masovno ponašanje iskorištavanjem naše istinske prirode) složena je knjiga koja temeljito detaljno opisuje mnoštvo studija i podataka kako bi došla do svoje temeljne premise. Osim toga, Mark Earls nije vaš prosječni autor poslovne knjige - čitajući njegovu knjigu osjećam se kao da čitam knjigu koja je potpuno izvan moje lige (stvarno je!). Ako ste intelektualac i cijenite duboko, duboko razmišljanje i prateće kriterije - ovo je vaša knjiga.

Ako se pretvaraš poput mene, to je također sjajna knjiga. 🙂 Možda bih unakazio neke bogate sadržaje pišući o tome ovdje, ali dovraga! Idem po to.

Tableta za društvene medijeJedna od tema koje se Mark dotiče je depresija. Mark spominje dva uobičajena uzroka depresije - odnos roditelja s djetetom i odnos osobe s drugim ljudima. Ne mogu se ne zapitati nisu li društveni mediji najbolja alternativa Prozac za liječenje društvenih bolesti poput depresije. Društveni mediji donose obećanje da ćete se povezati s drugima koji nisu izvan vašeg lokalnog kruga kod kuće, u uredu ili čak u vašem susjedstvu.

Twitter, WordPress, Facebooku, Okupite, online igre ... sve ove aplikacije nisu jednostavno 'Web 2.0', one su sredstvo međusobne komunikacije. Nije ni čudo zašto su društvene aplikacije toliko popularne. Nije li puno lakše otvoriti se ljudima koji imaju sigurnost interneta među nama?

Na konferenciji prije nekoliko mjeseci sjećam se žene koja je pitala:

Tko su ti ljudi i kako su na mreži tijekom cijelog dana? Zar nemaju život?

Zanimljiva je perspektiva! Zar ne? Pretpostavljam da je za mnoge ljude ovo is njihov život. Ovo je njihova veza s drugima, njihovi hobiji, njihovi interesi, njihovi prijatelji i njihova podrška. U prošlosti je "usamljenik" doista morao živjeti sam. Ali danas, 'usamljenik' ne mora! Može pronaći druge usamljenike s istim hobijima!

Neki bi mogli tvrditi da ovaj tip 'socijalne' mreže i pripadajuće sigurnosne mreže nisu toliko zdravi kao stvarna veza i ljudski kontakt. Možda su u pravu ... ali nisam siguran da ljudi ovo tretiraju kao alternativu. Za mnoge ljude ovo is njihovo jedino sredstvo komunikacije.

U srednjoj školi moj prijatelj Mark bio je nevjerojatan umjetnik. Bio je veliki medvjed tipa. Imao je punu bradu u 10. razredu i napisao je stripove s pričama o Vampirima i Vukodlacima. Volio sam se družiti s Markom, ali uvijek sam mogao reći da mu je neugodno oko svih - pa i kod mene. Mislim da uopće nije bio depresivan, ali bio je prilično tih, osim povremenog režanja (zarežala sam natrag).

Iskreno mogu zamisliti da je Mark danas poznati eklektični umjetnik ili možda danas sam živi u divljini. Ipak se ne mogu načuditi. Da je Mark imao blog i prodajnu kuću za objavljivanje svojih nevjerojatnih priča, mislim da bi se povezao s tisućama drugih s istim interesima. Imao bi društvenu mrežu - mrežu prijatelja i obožavatelja koji su ga hrabrili i cijenili.

Ni na koji način ne zaključujem da mi blogeri svojim pisanjem izbjegavamo depresiju ili usamljenost. Radimo; međutim, iskoristite puno poštovanja naših čitatelja. Ništa nisam drugačija. Ako vidim da se netko okomio na drugog blogera koji mi je prijatelj, uskočit ću i braniti ga. Ako čujem za blogera koji se razbolio, iskreno se molim za njega i njegovu obitelj. A kad bloger zaustavi bloganje, stvarno mi nedostaje da se čujem.

Radim 50 do 60 tjedno i nisam samohrani otac, nemam puno toga "život" (kako je definirala žena koju sam spomenula) izvan mog bloga i karijere. Ironično, ipak, moj život online nevjerojatno podržava, sretan je i obećava. Doista sam sretan (bez lijekova, ali prekomjerne težine) tip. Ne vjerujem da pokušavam jedno zamijeniti drugim. Mislim da su oboje jednako važni i korisni. Zapravo, vjerujem da me je moj 'mrežni' život gurnuo u bolju komunikaciju u mom 'stvarnom' životu. Pisati mi je terapijski i sjajno se osjećam kad dobijem povratne informacije o svom pisanju (čak i ako je negativna).

Istina je, da nisam imao mrežu podrške koju imam s vama ljudi ... vjerojatno mogao biti nesretan i mogao bi skliznuti u depresiju. Vjerojatno bih igrao video igrice noću, a danju zagorčavao svoje kolege.

Puno bih radije uzimao svoje Web 2.0 tablete svaki dan.

9 Komentari

  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

    Bok 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. Pacijenti poput mene (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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