Skip to main content

EENet ConnectSubgroupsGambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

Article Link: https://www.centreformentalhea...eoples-mental-health

This article explores the impact of social media on youth mental health. It notes that social media use can result in "urges" to check accounts to experience the instant gratification/dopamine hit from "likes" and comments. It notes that if the instant gratification is not available, a person may scroll their feeds until they receive that feeling, or they will internalize it, which may manifest as loneliness and anxiety.

"The evidence suggests that social media use is strongly associated with anxiety, loneliness and depression. Whether it is causal or just a correlation will need to be further examined by researchers, mental health policy stakeholders and the social media industry. In the meantime, we must think very carefully about how we can manage its impact on mental health, for instance, through integrating social media 'lessons' into subjects in school, the use of behavioural economics and increased signposting efforts by social media firms."

An interesting point of future research may be to study if youth who have higher levels of anxiety and/or loneliness are more prone to excessive technology use than their peers.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I really liked this article, I think it is an interesting time to be discussing these topics while still being somewhat consumed by Covid restrictions and the world just opening back up to us. I think we can all agree anxiety, loneliness and fear, of missing out have all been very real feelings experienced by almost everyone over the past 2+ years, has social media had any positive effects on anxiety, loneliness, and fear of missing out while young people have been essentially stuck at home. During the past coupe of years for many young people there has been no opportunity for gratification/dopamine hit outside of social media, there has been no sports, no academic contests, no chance to engage in risk taking. This is such a tricky issue to navigate with young people and there is no easy answer.

Social media can have both positive and negative influences on individuals, especially teens who are very impressionable.  Social media can fill the void of socialization that is missed by some.  It also has the ability to bring people closer together.  On a larger scale, I can see how some people shift to relying on social media as one of their own means of connection. I appreciate how the article explores both.

Given the scope of this topic area, it seems necessary to "focus on our focus" and attend to  health aspects of PTU while keeping an eye on other aspects of PTU (such as technology, game design, business strategy and more).It seems that the concept of "balance" is critical. Exciting ways of conveying mental "balance" seems welcome for psychoeducation approaches. The premise is that if mental health is "in balance" then behavioral addiction or substance addiction will be less likely, less severe, and/or more easily treated. What do counsellors think based on their knowledge of human behavior and addiction development?

Add Reply


This website has been funded by a grant from the Government of Ontario.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Ontario.
Link copied to your clipboard.