Queensland, Australia – In the year Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has revolutionized the way people watch videos online. Providing users with endless content on any topic, there’s no denying the convenience of YouTube. But now researchers at Griffith University suggest that spending too much time on stage can harm mental health. The Australian Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) group found that frequent, regular YouTube users show higher levels of loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Dr Luke Balcombe, and Emeritus Professor Diego De Leo from Griffith University’s School of Applied Psychology and AISRAP, first set out to better understand both the positive and negative mental health implications associated with the world’s most overcrowded streaming platform. In particular, those who experienced the most negative effects were young people under the age of 29 who regularly viewed content about other people’s lives.

Dr. Balcombe explains that adoption Parasocial relationships It can be a cause for concern among content creators and followers. However, there were few isolated or positive instances where creators formed close relationships with their followers.

“These online ‘connections’ can fill the gap for people with social anxiety, for example, but they can make things worse, especially during the formative years when they don’t have the face-to-face interactions that are so important.” Balcombe in A Leaving the university. “To combat loneliness and promote positive mental health, we recommend that individuals limit their time on YouTube and seek other social interactions.”

Is there a problem with YouTube’s algorithm?

The authors of the study found that many parents are particularly concerned about the time their children spend on YouTube. It is common for mothers and fathers to say that it is difficult to consistently monitor their children’s use of the platform for educational or other purposes.

During this study, the team considered spending more than two hours per day on YouTube for “high frequency use” and more than five hours per day for “saturated use”. Researchers concluded that more needs to be done to prevent suicide-related content from being recommended to users by suggested viewing algorithms. YouTube’s algorithm suggests videos based on previous searches, which can send users down a frustrating “rabbit hole.”

While users can report this type of content, it often goes unreported. Conversely, if a harmful video stays online for a few days or weeks, it’s usually impossible for YouTube’s algorithms to stop it all, due to the amount of content that passes through. If a piece of content is suggested to be promoting self-harm or suicide, YouTube will generate a warning and ask users to continue watching the video.

YouTube videos on the search page
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

“There may be value in monitoring and intervention through artificial intelligence with vulnerable children and adolescents who engage in high-frequency use,” continued Dr. Balcombe. “We explored issues of human-computer interaction and proposed a YouTube-independent algorithmic recommendation system that directs users to proven positive mental health content or promotion.”

YouTube for mental health purposes is primarily used for information seeking or sharing, and many digital mental health approaches are being experimented with in varying degrees, but with over 10,000 mental health apps currently out there, it can be overwhelming to know which ones to use. whether to use or recommend any of them from a professional point of view.

“There is a gap in proven mental health or suicide tools based on AI-based machine learning, risk modeling, and appropriate human decision-making, but bringing mental health and suicide experts together to validate data from AI, digital mental health interventions, and mental health are incomplete. It could be a very promising solution to support increasing demands,” he concludes.

of Research It was published in the magazine Informatics.

You may also be interested in:

YouTube video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *