The effects of social media on men's mental health
Mental health has been under debate almost since the dawn of the modern age. The improvement of mental health has received particular attention in this society. But why is men's mental health being so little noticed despite all of these encouraging developments?
Male suicide rates are 1.7 times higher than female suicide rates worldwide, while male suicide rates are more than 4 times higher than female suicide rates in the western world.
These higher rates of male suicide have no doubt been catalysed by the rise of social media.
The TikTok effect
TikTok has become one of the most well-liked social media platforms in recent years, particularly with younger audiences. Although the app provides an inexhaustible supply of creativity and pleasure, there is rising concern about how TikTok may affect men's mental health.
Social media has increased the pressure on men to project a strong, emotionless, and in command image at all times. This pressure to live up to societal norms of masculinity has always been there. These negative perceptions have not only been perpetuated by TikTok, but new ones have also been created.
The maintenance of false beauty standards is one of TikTok's most important repercussions on men's mental health. The abundance of pictures of abs, biceps, and skin that can be found on the app can cause men to have body image issues and feel inadequate. A variety of physical and mental health issues can result from disordered eating and exercise behaviours, which can be a result of the pressure to maintain an ideal physique.
Another problem is the spread of toxic masculinity on TikTok, where users frequently encourage negative traits and attitudes including domination, aggressiveness, and objectification of women. The belief that emotions are a weakness and that men must always appear tough and invulnerable is perpetuated by these toxic behaviours, which can have a negative impact on men's mental health.
Touching up on it previously, social media has certainly promoted toxic masculinity, which no doubt effects men's mental health. For example, rising creators such as Andrew Tate, have often claimed to be promoting men's mental health by giving advice on self-improvement, however this has only preached the idea that a man has to be a certain way to be successful in life.
The influence of toxic masculinity on mental health on social media is among its most important impacts. Males who hold toxic masculinity ideals frequently have mental health problems like substance misuse, sadness, and anxiety. Many mental health problems can be made worse by social media's association with elevated loneliness and isolation sentiments.
Social media toxic masculinity can be harmful to women as well. Men who feel threatened by the opinions of women who speak out against toxic masculinity online frequently harass and threaten them. The diversity of thoughts and viewpoints may decrease as a result of women being less likely to express themselves online as a result of this chilling effect.
Changing the narrative
While social media has its downsides, such as addiction and negative impacts on self-esteem, it can also be a tool for good when it comes to mental health. Here are some ways we can help men's mental health on social media.
Promote open and honest conversations about mental health
One of the biggest barriers to men seeking help for mental health issues is the stigma surrounding mental health. Many men feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit they are struggling, or they may feel like seeking help is a sign of weakness. Social media can help break down these barriers by promoting open and honest conversations about mental health.
People with large social media followings, such as influencers or celebrities, can use their platforms to start conversations about mental health. By sharing their own experiences or encouraging others to share theirs, they can help reduce the stigma and make it easier for men to seek help.
2. Share resources for men's mental health
Another way social media can help men's mental health is by sharing resources and information about mental health services. Many men may not know where to turn for help, or they may not feel comfortable talking to their doctor or a therapist. Social media can be a useful tool for sharing information about mental health resources, such as helplines, online support groups, or therapy services.
3. Encourage self-care and healthy coping mechanisms
Men's mental health can also be improved by promoting self-care and healthy coping mechanisms on social media. Many men may not know how to take care of their mental health, or they may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol or drugs. Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting healthy coping mechanisms, such as exercise, mindfulness, or therapy.
Influencers and other social media personalities can share their own self-care routines or encourage their followers to take care of themselves. They can also share tips and advice on how to manage stress or anxiety, such as breathing exercises or meditation.
Hopefully someone reading this article will help find this useful, and thus share this with anyone struggling with mental health, male or female.