Essay: Social Media Behavior, Toxic Masculinity, and Depression

Currently, the world is very connected with everything related to digital and the internet. Every year we are certainly treated to various innovations and new advances in the field of information technology. In the last decade, the progress of the internet has occurred so rapidly. We really are moving from the time when internet access could only be obtained by some people and must be accessed in certain places that provide internet and computer access, to today where almost everyone can access the internet very easily because it is already available in the hands of each person through gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and so on. In a very advanced era where almost everything is connected to internet technology, social media has become one of the main needs of most people. What are the impacts of the use of social media which is increasingly common among people? Of course, it is clear that if we talk about the impacts of social media, there must be positive and negative impacts. Positive impacts include the ease of interacting with other people, especially those who are away from us. We can also easily find out about the latest news and information from those closest to us through the front page of social media where people usually post about their life updates.

While the negative impact is the spread of hoax information. This habit of spreading hoax information on social media has become a bad behavior and is difficult to overcome because the use of the internet has also become out of control on a certain level. Another bad behavior that is often found on social media is the habit of bullying through typing that aims to hurt others verbally. This habit usually occurs among the younger generation who are often very easy to throw harsh words, insult, sometimes even leading to SARA and discrimination issues. Why does this happen? In my opinion, this happens because of a lack of knowledge about proper ethics in social media, and also the lack of supervision from parents towards their children as the younger generation so that they become so wild on social media. Mental issues are also one of the factors that play a role in people’s social media habits with bad behavior. Usually, people who have mental problems are unstable, often vent their emotions on social media, and tend to be out of control, in modern terms in the digital world it is called “toxic”.

Speaking of social media, one of the habits that are often found on social media is toxic masculinity. It is when certain men impose standards that limit how a man should behave, but these restrictions tend to be unreasonable just because they think it doesn’t show masculinity as a man. The most common example is real men are forbidden to cry because it shows a weak side. When actually crying is a form of emotional expression that is normal, and natural for anyone to experience, regardless of male or female. Things like this then become a kind of standard that is demanded of men and if it is violated then they do not show a masculine personality. This is called toxic because it violates something that normally happens and forces men to hold back on certain things that are actually normal to happen.

As I mentioned earlier that mental issues are also one of the triggers for bad behavior in social media, which is then also connected with toxic masculinity which is often found on social media, depression is one of the problems that must also be taken seriously because this often happens on social media. The issue of depression is currently trending because it is often brought up to the surface because many people are starting to speak up about their mental state that is down and even indicated that they are experiencing depression. Of course, this is actually a good thing because more people are brave enough to talk about their mental condition and are no longer afraid of the bad stigma from society. However, there are concerns that there are certain individuals who only pretend to be depressed in order to get public attention on social media. Things like this can lead to a trust issue among the public regarding mental health and the bad thing is that people may not trust other people who are actually depressed, just because of the trust issue caused by some people who are just looking for sensation on social media using depression excuses. This of course is something that must be handled seriously so as not to take casualties because depression can lead to suicidal thoughts for the sufferer and this is certainly very risky if allowed to continue.

References

Legg, T. (2020, June). What to know about toxic masculinity. Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/toxic-masculinity

Montero, H. A. (2018). Depression in Men: The Cycle of Toxic Masculinity. Retrieved from Psycom: https://www.psycom.net/depression-in-men/depression-in-men-toxic-masculinity/

NursingAnswer. (2021, March). Social Media Harmful Effects on Youth Mental Health. Retrieved from nursinganswer.net: https://nursinganswers.net/essays/social-media-harmful-effects-on-youth-mental-health.php

Vinopal, L. (2019, January). Why Social Media Makes Toxic Men More Depressed. Retrieved from Fatherly: https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/why-social-media-makes-toxic-men-more-depressed/

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