Mental Health, Social Media, What We Can Do
Mental health issues are on the rise. Recently, the news of a Kuching girl who decided to end her life based on the results of an Instagram poll shocked the whole nation, unfortunately.
She conducted the vote and the question was:
Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L
It was shocking to learn that D (death) received 69% votes which then drove her to jump from the third floor of a building.
Putting that aside, what saddens me (and many others) is the fact that there were people who had the audacity to vote for D.
Okay, to be fair, perhaps they genuinely thought that the girl was joking, thinking that it was just a harmless poll. The fact that a girl would base the fate of her life on a poll would’ve never crossed one’s mind.
A call for an “empathetic society”
In a news article dated 2016, Dr. Ruzita Jamaluddin, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Hospital Tuanku Fauziah, called for an “empathetic society”. A society “which pays attention to mental illness and its sufferers”.
Indeed, she is right. We need to be empathetic Malaysians, especially in this time and age as issues concerning mental health is both timely and relevant in our country.
We should be reflecting more empathy in this matter. This means that Malaysians need to play active roles in society and be more aware of their surroundings.
Not only that, statistics show that by 2020, mental health issues will be the country’s second-biggest health problem after heart disease. Doesn’t that sound scary?
Instagram rated for “worst social media platform”
Did you know that according to a UK survey, it rated Instagram as the “worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people’s mental health”?
I believe we can all agree that Instagram or social media as a whole do provide some significant benefits. Benefits such as a tool to educate and share resources, to connect with others, to understand one’s feelings, and to promote one’s business, for instance.
However, when people use social media for the wrong reason, negative consequences arise. Cyberbullying and continuously comparing our lives with others are just some of the cons of using social media.
It’s about time that we become more responsible…
…in using social media. No, I am not asking you to stop posting your travel pictures, your cafe-hopping experience etc. You have the right to post whatever you want, that’s a fact.
What I meant by using social media responsibly is to be more conscious of the things we say and post on our soc-med platforms. Matthew Nance, a social media safety expert, shared the below guideline that you can follow before you post anything online:
T– is it Truthful?
H – does it Help?
I – does it Inspire?
N – is it Nice or Necessary?
K – is it Kind?
So friends, to sum up, the purpose of this article is not to condemn Instagram and those who voted in the said poll.
Its purpose is to wake us Malaysians to unite and create an “empathetic society”. It’s about time that we take mental health issues, seriously.