Friday, November 7, 2014

Cyberspace Correlation To Mental Health

By David Simms, Senior Contributor
The Global Institute for Cyber Safety and Standards

There has been a relatively sudden drastic increase in the number of young people seeking treatment for mental health problems. It appears this is a direct result of social media and the “digital” culture in general, becoming an integral component of daily life.  In the UK alone, reports say there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of young people being referred for psychological health problems which is rather significant considering this occurred over just the last year. The phenomenon of “future shock,” in which technology outpaces its users, appears to be finally catching up to the human condition. 

Now, digital communication is the norm and has become not only a common activity among young people, but actually a seemingly intrinsic aspect to their DNA.  Today, young people carry out complete relationships online through texting and sexting, developing fewer and fewer traditional face-to-face relationships. It has reached the point that even making voice-calls to others is mostly avoided. This has resulted in a severe vacuum in basic skills of interaction. Interaction that is still necessary in today’s world when it comes to being a productive member of society and also as future parents to the generations following. 

The ever-growing social media platforms are in the process of creating a new global culture in which bullying and harassing our fellow peers has never been easier.