Benjamin Johnson Comments on Social Media and Mental Health
Benjamin Johnson, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Advertising associate professor and interim director of the STEM Translational Communication Center, was quoted in the UF News article “Social Media and Mental Health: Considerations from Experts This Mental Health Awareness Month” published on May 17, 2023.
In the article, Johnson, who also is an editor of the journal Media Psychology and has written more than 45 peer-reviewed publications related to social media and psychology, said being aware of a person’s habits can help support good mental health and well-being, rather than detract from it.
Johnson said, “People need to be self-aware of their routines. We start routines because they gave us some kind of reward and they made us happy. But, if we have the capacity to reflect on what we’re doing, what our habits are, we can make better choices because sometimes habits become dysfunctional, and that’s often the case with media.
“It’s not the device, it’s what’s on it. If you have people that make you happy, people that make you feel supported in your newsfeed, where you’re learning in your newsfeed, that’s different than people that are making you feel terrible about yourself, or people that are infuriating you or people that make you feel inadequate. So, the content is very important.”