Site icon Richard's blog

The Negative Impact of Social Networks on The Mental Health of Girls

In today’s Le Matin, which was then mentioned by the RTS they discuss the impact of the pandemic of girls. When I first read this I was unclear as to whether they mean women or girls. It is about girls. The article speaks about how boys can play computer games and compete and in general to win, whereas girls go to social networks and compare themselves to their peers and other girls. As a result of this they end up needing psychological help.

This is relevant to my blog because for decades I have argued that social media should be a place for conversations and friendships. Websites such as Facebook, Instagram and apps like TikTok encourage women, not to converse, but to be beautiful, be better coordinated than others, imitate, use filters and more. Women are encouraged to be superficially beautiful rather than to converse, interact and establish something meaningful.

Look at Instagram. Many girls, and women post self-portraits, copy trends and do such things. Their presence is axed towards being appealing, talented and more.

This isn’t good. Websites like Instagram used to be networks of friends sharing with direct friends, Facebook was about sharing with uni friends, and Twitter was a place where we could converse, with people that those we followed were conversing with. Every network was about networks of trust and friendships.

Today, with algorithms, memes, trends and more, via TikTok, Instagram and Facebook the friendship aspect is gone, to focus on influencers, making money, and being part of trends. The individual has been lost in a sea of conformity. It is for this reason that girls would be struggling during the pandemic.

As a single person I can’t stand Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok, and I am an adult with a clearly defined identity, in theory. TikTok, Facebook and Instagram are designed in such a way that genuine friendships and conversations are hard or impossible, so it is easy to fall into a positive feedback loop where we feel worse and worse about our lives.

It doesn’t need to be that way. If social networks allowed for personal connections to form, showed networks of friends of friends, rather than strangers, then social media would stop being about the superficial, and return to being about the genuine.

That’s why I can still stand Twitter, and WordPress. Both are about human to human connections. Both are healthy.

Exit mobile version