Full Disclosure: This essay has been written by a group of High schoolers.
As more students strive for higher education, the pressures of being accepted into a well-known college and getting a well-to-do job is in the minds of many students. However, due to the constant competition when admitting into universities, the pressure to stand out and exceed in classes sets a goal for students to exceed expectations. The pressure of these aspects will increase, causing an abundance of mental and physical strains on students. Social media (technology) also contributes to the mental constraints that expectations have on students as it is known to cause fatigue, which leads to poor mental health; however, social media/technology can also be incorporated into education and mental health care to improve learning and mental health treatment.
Technology on Expectations and Fatigue:
Technology, specifically social media, is often used to share personal experiences, and this often includes subjects such as achievements. Most students already have existing expectations and goals for academics and applications for universities such as achieving high grades and earning awards that benefit not only their learning experience but also their chances of getting into an Ivy League school; however, what students may see on social media can influence their motivation and deteriorate their mental health, which outlines the existence of social contagion—meaning that emotional states can be transferred to others (Meyer, 2014). People induce a more negative reaction when being exposed to more positive content (Meyer, 2014); human feedback is exposed, which outlines the contribution to academic stresses that students have. The impact of social media can cause students to overwork themselves due to jealousy and constant dissatisfaction which may be impacted by content online.
Mental Health Strains:
Consequently, digital learning also invokes human feedback such as fatigue and burnout among students. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning became a prominent tool in carrying out education under health guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus. Even though it was convenient in some cases, there were still several challenges faced. Due to the hours spent in front of a screen, digital learning has worsened mental health issues for those who already had those existing conditions and even heightened workloads and pressures for teachers and students (Center, 2021). The term “Zoom Fatigue” has even been applied to describe the mental drain that long hours in front of a screen has on individuals; it is more difficult for students to retain new information as they feel “physically tired,” which can lead to anxiety and stress (Center, 2021). The lack of interaction and social isolation have both revealed several detrimental consequences as it has caused lack of motivation and increased loneliness in both students and teachers. Students all over the world experienced a high frequency of emotional distress as a high use of social media was often caused by a high experience of loneliness (the lonelier one was, the more often social media was used) (Geirdal, 2021). Not only that but, the encounter of burnout had significantly increased, and students struggled in academics, especially final year students who were subject to high emotional exhaustion (Zis, 2021). Burnout is a subject that significantly influences mental health. It hinders productivity, which impacts performance in school. However, technology can be beneficial to education and mental health if applied properly.
Incorporation of Technology in Education and Mental Healthcare:
There are several tools used in technology to not only facilitate learning/research, but also social interaction. Several students and teachers have even utilized social media for education. Social media provides communication channels allowing for proper communication between students and teachers, especially students with learning difficulties as better teacher-student relationships allows for students to perform better. Social media can be used to not only “enhance interactivity,” but also encourage engagement and collaboration among students (Faizi, 2013).
(1) digital tech can revolutionize mental health services delivery
o Several professionals moved to telehealth
o Appointments dispatched through audio/video
o Proper training needed to deliver treatments
– (2) exploring the potential benefits of using social media in education
o Tech can facilitate learning/research
o Social media can provide communication channels = proper communication btwn students and teachers
o Can even improve learning for people w learning difficulties
o “enhance interactivity” = encourage engagement/collaboration
– (3) using digital tech to support employees’ mental health and resilience
o Absences in workplaces = loss of productivity
o Digital solutions: motivate/support, aid behavioral changes
o Therapeutic treatment at one’s own comfort and pacel
o Tech can even improve physical health -> influences mental health and performance in academics
– (4) social media in higher education
o Better learning experience
o Collective exploration and innovation increased
Teens Are Suffering in Lockdown Isolation. Can Tech Help?
Read more HERE.
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