Social media: friend, foe or both for those suffering with mental disorders? – Insights and recording from our recent Pediatric Tech Talk

Social media channels including popular apps like Tik-Tok and Instagram are often double edged swords for those suffering from issues like anxiety and eating disorders. They can exacerbate symptoms, harmful behavior, and quality of life for those needing treatment or in early stages of recovery. But they also offer access to support groups and community for many survivors and those seeking to try to understand what they may be experiencing.

“How do all of these technologies play a role in disease presentation?” Jessica asks. “If [someone] includes [themselves] in communication with the world via social media then [they] stop and become more detached, that’s a sign we found that is more of a telling aspect than the language used or accounts following.”

What role can computer science play in identifying mental health disorders including eating disorders? What can we learn about how social media affects those suffering from those disorders at various stages in their illness and recovery? What clues can posts to social sites tell us about someone who may be suffering from a mental disorder? What does ‘pro-disease support’ entail?

IPAT Executive Director Elizabeth Mynatt, Ph.D. and IPAT Visiting Research Scientist Jessica Pater, Ph.D. joined Pediatric Technology Center Chief Engineer Leanne West for a 30 minute discussion on Wednesday, January 20th at noon eastern.

You can watch the 30 minute session in its entirety below.