US Suicide Rate is Highest in Decades: Is Social Media to Blame?

#1
Hello, everyone. Though I usually post articles to get people discussing issues related to science and philosophy, I am no stranger of the major social issues that are affecting the United States at the moment. Recently it has been reported that the United States is experiencing the highest suicide and drug overdose rate in decades. Is this due to the increasing isolation that many say they feel?

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-...rom-suicide-substance-abuse-reach-record-high
 
#2
It is not just social media, it is all internet apps that produce compulsive behavior through those little red alert notifications and likes, including Skeptiko.
 
Last edited:
#3
It is not just social media, it is all internet apps that produce compulsive behavior through those little red alert notifications, including Skeptiko.
Interesting.. do you think this leads to greater impulsivity and perhaps to more suicidal actions? No idea how we would test something like this ethically.
 
#4
Interesting.. do you think this leads to greater impulsivity and perhaps to more suicidal actions? No idea how we would test something like this ethically.
I think when someone who might be suffering from depression is lured into compulsive (addictive) behavior it can make their depression worse. Depression and addiction are closely linked clinically. Internet apps mess with user's brain chemistry. The tech companies do not hide the fact that they have used psychological principles to make their apps generate compulsive behavior. Those little red alert notifications are one method. When you see a notification your brain gives you a hit of dopamine and you become addicted. Notice the feeling of excitement when you get notification of a reply, or a like? That is the dopamine addiction in your brain. Do you find yourself checking the internet for replies, email, etc very frequently? Thats why.

Know why there is so much BS on twitter and facebook? Because people get addicted to likes, followers, and shares, so they post anything that will get a response, including false or unverified informaiton, news stories etc. The more outrageous (unlikely to be true) a story is, the more likely it is to be posted.

https://higginswar.blogspot.com/2017/10/technology-companies-harmful-influence.html
Internet applications are designed to make you use them compulsively because the more the apps are used, the more revenue they generate for the tech companies[Greenwald]. But internet apps can reduce your attention span and harm your intellectual capacity.[Hill] Having captured users' attention, internet applications can be used to manipulate public opinion through targeted advertising[Madrigal] and biases in what they show in search results, suggestions, feeds and monetization[Barrett]. Compulsive use of apps is causing mental illness, self-harm[Chuck] and suicide[Twenge]. Computer games designed to make users play compulsively are also killing people who play until they drop dead.[Spragg] There are an increasing number of injuries and deaths from people using their cell phones compulsively while driving or walking.[Stock et. al.] And tech companies have provided terrorist groups with the use of their compulsion inducing platforms for "'spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits'" which has led to the murder of innocent victims.[Carbone] The tech companies are culpable because their apps are designed to make you use them compulsively in order to generate more revenue. The tech companies have blood on their hands.
...
 
Last edited:
#5
Wow, I always suspected that the creators of social media knew what they were doing when they developed it, but I never realized that all these little notifications achieve much of the same result. What do you propose we do about this? It's almost impossible to go anywhere without a phone these days and the bombardment of apps does not look like it will cease.

That and the screens are constantly front and center in many of our professional lives.
 
Last edited:
#7
What do you think about all the health warnings about 5G? Despite scientists not agreeing on the safety of the technology, they are looking to implement this worldwide:
https://www.jrseco.com/european-uni...rn-of-potential-serious-health-effects-of-5g/
That sounds pretty bad. I don't know which is worse, the technology industry or the food industry and dietary science which are also killing people for $$$. Most people don't realize that the supermarket is worse (does more harm using psychological tricks to pushi unhealthful products) than a drug pusher.
 
#8
Wow, I always suspected that the creators of social media knew what they were doing when they developed it, but I never realized that all these little notifications achieve much of the same result. What do you propose we do about this? It's almost impossible to go anywhere without a phone these days and the bombardment of apps does not look like it will cease.

That and the screens are constantly front and center in many of our professional lives.
Turn off notifications as much as possible. If you find you really need some of them you can turn them back on. But in general if it isn't important enough that you remember to check on your own, you shouldn't have technology prodding you to check.

My cell phone stays turned off unless I want to make a call.

I think it helps if people try to notice if they are using the internet compulsively, when you see your self checking too often you can see how the technology affects you and then you can start to think about cutting back and getting free.
 
#9
Another pernicious aspect of social media is the self-reflexive sorting it does on "our" behalf in order to target users with information, news, and advertisements that only reinforce what they already believe. The echo chamber effect. Or, how to make dummies dumber. It's horrible, and I have first-hand experience with it, having voted for a different presidential candidate than most of my friends, and their sudden inability to receive any of my posts or messages. And, as an independent researcher, I certainly Do Not want the search engines deciding what information most comports with my expectations. I do understand the need to do some filtering--perhaps giving the consumer the option of deciding which way to go on the sorting decision trees would help.
 
Top