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Thread: Social Media and Mental Illness

  1. #21
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    I think I might have around 20 friends on FB - it has never appealed to me and I might look at it a couple of times a week at most. I enjoy seeing updates from family but don't get the compulsion to post photos of where you are and what you are doing at every turn. I have one relative who must be on it all day long posting every conceivable thing that strikes her fancy. I am discovering that some of the groups are very helpful - in my case, a local gardening group.

  2. #22
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    Some things are deliberately designed to be addictive so one should not fault themselves too much for being so. Processed food like potato chips are deliberately designed to be addictive. So maybe someone somewhere is addicted to a less manipulated food like I don't know blue cheese or something and binges on that too. Ok, and maybe they should avoid blue cheese then, but when dealing with things deliberately designed to be addictive one is playing a really rigged game as far as willpower is concerned. One can control it by avoiding the manipulating things or if one is able to (and for many things one might not be able to) by rationing them (only getting potato chips on july 4th say and if one eats the whole bag - oh well it's one day). Another example would be slot machines. They are deliberately designed to be addictive, in fact the whole vegas etc. experience is. And another example would be social media. We are dealing at the level of deliberate design to hook people. It's not that people don't get hooked on less designed things, on alcohol from rotting grapes rather than just lab designed drugs but ... the designed to hook you stuff can be seen as "supernormal stimulus" and often does.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #23
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    Geila, one important use for me is staying in touch with family that I would never call or send a letter/email to. It is great to see pictures of the family and the kids growing and see what they are doing. And I have met someone in person I would have never met.

    I take care of our local meditation group, and several people have moved away but stay in contact through the group or friending some of us. One person had been saying he was coming to the area so I hoped he would be able to attend. Meanwhile we had our facilitators meeting before the meeting started at a Starbucks around the corner. I was meeting and someone came up and just asked, 'are you ZG', well yes I am. I guess the white hair helps me be extra recognizable. So we sat and talked before the meeting and it was awesome. I am glad if a random person recognized me it was someone very nice and known to our group.

  4. #24
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    I love facebook to keep up with my brothers. Otherwise, we would just never communicate. I also like joining quilting groups and the give and take of new ideas and especially photos. But I have no problem unfollowing (either temporary or permanent) or even totally unfriending people who post distasteful material. I want to keep my page a happy place for me. I do not do games, quizes, shares of old info, or other junk.

    It can be addictive if you let it but it is controllable.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Question for those of you who have no problem setting boundaries or resisting the addictive aspects of social media:

    Do you suffer from any mental illness or disorder, addiction, or compulsive behaviors?

    Because I'm curious to see how that would skew the individual results and experiences. When I read responses from those of you who have no problems at all with the sites, I think maybe I can do it too. But part of accepting my mental illness is accepting the fact that my brain functions differently than someone who does not have mental illness.

  6. #26
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    Most people with one addiction are cross addicted. There is disagreement on whether the "addictive personality"
    exists, but anecdotal evidence seems to support that idea. So yeah, if you struggle with any kind of addiction, you might be more inclined to become addicted to social media.

  7. #27
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    I dont have any diagnosed mental conditions. I am not very empathetic and as I have gotten older, I really don't care what others think of me. Since I am also retired, I don't have to uphold any work rules or dress codes.

    No one should get on social media who has a thin skin. People can say the most hurtful things and hide behind their computer. Anyone heads in that direction on my page and I cut them out. My Facebook page = my rules.

  8. #28
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    Question for those of you who have no problem setting boundaries or resisting the addictive aspects of social media:

    Do you suffer from any mental illness or disorder, addiction, or compulsive behaviors?
    Am I telling you or is my DW?

    Seriously, I have a touch of OCD and, right now, I'm trying to figure out if I'm suffering from a little depression (physiologically-induced or otherwise). Still no problem with social media.

    But, again, I see technology as a tool. When I first bought a food processor, unlike many people I did not serve chopped and pureed entrees for a couple of weeks. A better TV than ours does not induce me to watch more TV or video. If you except sites like these, I have only two social media accounts. While sometimes technology requires us to bend to its limitations, in my life tech exists to serve me. And when it no longer does serve me, it's out of my life. But that's just me.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #29
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    Reading the local newspaper article on teen suicide...apparently bullying and feelings of social ostracism on FB fans the flame for depressed young people.

  10. #30
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    I say know yourself, I have bipolar 2. Not too many addictive qualities however. At least they are managed by a lot of meditation over the years.

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