Media Diet And Mental Health
Emotions and temperament are a direct outcome of the media that people consume. As humans, we have a negative bias, i.e. we tend to consume negative information more easily than the positive one.
As a textbook definition, mental health encompasses all the cognitive, emotional and social interactions we have and the impact these interactions have on our well-being and behaviour. Media is an important part of any of these human interactions. Hence, as a proper diet is important for our physical diet, the media diet is important for our mental health.
In this context, media refers to any source of information for the brain, be it books, newspapers, television, magazines, or social media. Just as the consumption of various elements in a diet impact different parts of the body, consumption of different elements of media have a huge impact on the status of our mental health.
Emotions and temperament are a direct outcome of the media that people consume. As humans, we have a negative bias, i.e. we tend to consume negative information more easily than the positive one. This explains why the amount of negativity on the popular channels of media like television and social media has given rise to an extremely depressed, angry and frustrated population. The ease of comparison with others’ lives leading to the belief of missing out and failing is as toxic for mental health as drugs for physical health.
For a healthy mental diet, it is necessary to be exposed to all sources of information and have an open mind towards all opinions and viewpoints. This is the best way to develop a healthy appetite for information and knowledge, as well as have a holistic outlook to issues and a mentally healthy way of thinking.