October 31, 2022

Mental health in the digital age

By The Bodyguard Team
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While the Internet is part of our daily lives, it is also a place of extremism and toxic behaviour. The problem of facing social pressure and online toxicity is something that users can do without.

The Internet is an essential tool when it comes to communicating and keeping up with current events and entertainment.

Today, no one could imagine a world without it. In 2022, some 4.6 billion people are active on social networks. Of those, more than 45% are between the ages of 13 and 29. These now essential platforms can be practical and entertaining but their usage has come at a price. Specifically, taking a toll on the mental health of their users. While the Internet is part of our daily lives, it is also a place of extremism and toxic behaviour. The risks are very real. Wellbeing is gradually becoming a genuine public health concern.

Real risks to the mental health of Internet users

The Internet, and more particularly social networks, can cause various problems with regard to the mental wellbeing of Internet users:

  • Comparison to others: social platforms reinforce social, physical and financial inequalities.
  • Addiction: excessive use creates an addiction to social networks. This increases the risk of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and social isolation.
  • Harassment: online hate manifests itself in many forms, with real consequences on mental health. The behaviours experienced by Internet users, including harassment, insults, discrimination and revenge porn, have dramatic effects. The effects of such hate speech do not remain within the confines of the Internet.

Protect yourself online: something we all need to do

There are many celebrities who regularly call out the toxic remarks they are subjected to online, including Henry Cavill, Justin Bieber, Tom Holland, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle. Some of them distance themselves from social networks, sometimes going so far as to delete their accounts to protect themselves.

From the point of view of streamers and YouTubers, whose income depends entirely on the Internet, mental health problems are coming increasingly to the fore. Content creators such as Charlie Danger and Cyrus North now openly address the psychological consequences of their activity. Negative comments, harassment, insults and threats arising from such toxic behaviour are not aimed only at personalities. They affect every Internet user.

How can you protect your mental health?

Self-care is both an individual and community issue. Everyone can implement actions, with learning to disconnect being a particular example that is frequently taken. Attention-capturing algorithms are designed to keep the user on the platform as long as possible. Reducing the time spent online is essential to protect yourself. Respecting your limits, knowing when to switch off and closing a harmful account are other key elements in the preservation of your well-being.

Companies and brands also have a role to play in the mental health of their community. The implementation of a content moderation tool is essential to ensure the protection of Internet users. Bodyguard moderates toxic comments and reduces the risk of community members being exposed to inappropriate behaviour. It preserves positive and amicable exchanges. Customisable and easy to install, it helps to guarantee healthy, friendly discussion spaces, where debate can take place without it devolving into something unhealthy.

Digital tools have many advantages because they make communication easy and allow people to express themselves and have fun. They also provide an opportunity to build social bonds. However, the mental health of users can also be put at risk. We shouldn't forget that there are people on the other side of the screen. We can all find tips for healing and how we preserve our well-being on an individual scale. But it is also a collective problem, where we all have a role to play in improving the well-being of everyone else. Implementing a content moderation solution is an effective way to protect yourself and your community.

Bodyguard.ai provides an effective and real-time moderation solution that will help protect your online reputation, your community and your staff members. Using artificial intelligence and linguistic expertise, Bodyguard combines the best of humans and machine and takes context into account to avoid censorship. Bodyguard considers contextualisation to avoid censorship. It’s a smart and effective way to moderate bad behaviour and provide protection for online communities from toxic behaviour. 

Key points to remember:

  • The use of the Internet and social networks impacts the mental health of users.
  • All users are affected by this issue, including public figures.
  • A content moderation solution helps protect Internet users.

If you want to protect your brand, people or online community from toxic content today and in the future, contact us now.

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