The Social Media Dilemma: Between Heated Criticism and the Call for Conscious Education

Institutional Communication Service

It is currently the 20th anniversary of Facebook's creation, and people are paying attention to the alleged negative impact of social media on mental health, particularly among younger individuals. Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has recently apologised in response to criticism from the US Congress and families who blame social media platforms for tragic events. However, a more nuanced perspective has been presented in RSI's interview with Anne-Linda Camerini, lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Public Health at USI and head of the Mediaticino research project.

The article starts by discussing the current state of Facebook, which is frequently criticised despite no longer being the preferred social network of young individuals. Professor Camerini, an expert in public health, challenges the notion that social media is harmful to public health by highlighting the absence of scientific proof to support this claim.

One of the key arguments is the so-called "mental health inflation hypothesis", which suggests that the increase in negative media reports may contribute to the amplification of the perception of mental health problems.

Professor Camerini emphasises the complexity of the issue and the need for longitudinal studies to fully understand the relationship between social media use and mental well-being over time.

The importance of social media responsibility has become increasingly critical, particularly in addressing issues such as cyberbullying and protecting young individuals from inappropriate content. The proposed solution by the researcher is focused on providing conscious education rather than enforcing a complete ban.

According to a recent study in Switzerland, unwanted sexual attention is one of the most concerning negative side effects of social media, which raises concerns about online safety. Professor Camerini suggests that instead of banning social media altogether, users should be educated on how to use it responsibly and consciously.

Finally, she emphasises the need for a balanced discussion on this complex issue and suggests that education, supported by both families and schools, could be the key to addressing current and future challenges related to social media use.


The full article is available at the following link:
I dolori del non più giovane Zuckerberg - RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera (Italian only)