Social media use and expressions of mental distress

I’ve written previously with some thoughts on the ethics of researching social media spaces. I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this as I’ve been working on a project in parallel with my PhD looking at how social media is used by people who self-identify as accessing mental health services.

I think this is an interesting field and it links with interests more specific to my PhD. What I think is particularly fascinating is the way that social experience and environment informs our psychological experiences. That is the manner in which we interpret and express our mental phenomena are intrinsically linked with our social experiences.

Excitingly the study that I’ve completed with my PhD supervisors has just been published this week! Next week I’m giving a couple of talks in relation to this so I thought that this week as a brief post it would be simple to post my slides for these talks.

What I’m essentially planning to try and argue is that online social media represents a novel social space that is influencing our behaviour and expression of mental phenomena. The manner in which this effect is occurring is not clear and there are proponents who argue that it may be either beneficial or detrimental. Either way it is hard not to argue that it represents a significant new phenomena that we need to take into account as we think about the interaction between social and psychological phenomena.

The slides are here – as usual any thoughts gratefully received.

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