The use of social media is contributing to mental health in Indonesia, according to research Sujarwoto Sujarwoto, Gindo Tampubolon and Adi Cilik Pierewanhas.
The research examines the specific effect of social media on mental health in the developing country.
It was found that social media had a detrimental effect on mental health – as documented globally. But the authors noted details specific to developing countries, such as Indonesia.
Researchers have said that the country's high levels of inequality are highlighted on social media leading to envy and resentment by seeing happy and positive images of social media about how others live.
Inequality in Indonesia has grown rapidly since 2000 and the country has the third fastest growing economy among the G20 economies.
It has a growing class of consumers that contrasts sharply with those with less schooling or unable to find a job.
The transition from Indonesia to democracy has also unfolded in social media with negative results.
A cacophony of news about government failures, corruption, crime, conflict, and poverty is widened daily on social media – providing little escape for the nation's citizens.
The study specifically looked at Facebook, Twitter and chat and analyzed 22,423 people in nearly 300 districts across the country.
Social media is incredibly popular in Indonesia; Facebook reported a total of 54 million individual users in Indonesia, making it the fourth largest country in the world that uses Facebook, while Twitter registered 22 million Indonesian users, placing the country in fifth place in the world.
Twitter also reported that Indonesian users publish a total of 385 Tweets & # 39; per second, on average.
Meanwhile, mental disorders are becoming a major burden in the country.
Based on the latest Indonesian Basic Health Research survey in 2018, the prevalence of individuals with mental disorders in the country is estimated at 11.8 million people.
Researcher at the Global Development Institute Gindo Tampubolon said:
It's a strong reminder that these technologies can have a downside.
We would like to see public health officials think creatively about how we can encourage citizens to take a break in social media or be aware of the negative consequences they may have on mental health. "
The authors call for public health interventions and policies that advocate the intelligent use of online social media to prevent the rise in mental illnesses caused by the overuse of social media in Indonesia.
The University of Manchester