Different popular social media platforms. (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Opinion

Opinion: TikTok shows that social media can be good for mental health

When social media is used properly, people are becoming more aware of mental health issues and how to deal with them. 
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/audreyl1118/" target="_self">Audrey Liang</a>

Audrey Liang

August 1, 2022
TikTok, the fastest-growing social media app, has taken the world by storm. TikTok has seen a 77% increase in users this past year, making a grand total of one billion users since its first debut in 2016

According to the New York Times, over the past six years, there have been multiple trends that have surged both good and bad news all over the TikTok platform. Like any other social media platform, TikTok is causing a plethora of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and stress.

For instance, there is the problem of “the fear of missing out” or FOMO. According to Economic Times, FOMO makes a person feel isolated, causes extreme social anxiety and increases levels of emotional negativity. On the other hand, TikTok is showing that social media doesn’t have to be entirely bad for mental health.

According to an interview on Psycom, Thea Gallagher, an assistant professor and director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania, people have used TikTok to share their mental health journeys. Sharing these stories allows others to connect with people who may have the same mental health struggles.

For instance, many members of the LGBTQ+ community are posting and sharing their own mental health journey, which creates a sense of comfort for those who may be struggling with the same problem because they can see that they are not alone in their experiences. 

Also according to Psycom, a psychiatrist at Loma Linda University Behavioral Health, David J. Puder, believes that through social media, like TikTok, people can share their knowledge of mental health and struggles with each other. He specifically notes the benefits of such information sharing on social media for those who need professional help but do not have access to it.

Puder expressed that he loves the enthusiasm that people have shown on social media to understand the mind and the science behind mental health struggles. He believes that people sharing mental health journeys on social media can help reduce the stigma on mental health and get people to be more open to seeking treatment. 

As this new generation becomes more and more adapted to technology, we have to learn how to get the most out of our technological resources. Yes, social media tends to get a bad rap for the many mental health problems it causes.

However, it is shown that through social media, like TikTok, especially when it is used productively, people are becoming more aware of mental health issues and how to deal with them.