The Media & Mental Health
Posted on 9th February 2022
Advertisers tend to use knowledge of human psychology when deciding on the tactics they use to sell a product. It's important we can identify these tactics and be aware of how they may be affecting our mental health.
Fear-based marketing is the use of consumers fears to motivate them to buy a product or contribute to a cause. Whilst relatively harmless, fear messages may have a more severe and lasting impact to those already struggling with mental health issues such as phobias or anxiety.
A natural aversion to good news which makes us suspetible to fear-based marketing. For example, we pay more attention to words like 'bomb' and 'war' than 'babies' and 'smile.'
Clickbait is a possibly misleading headline or a thumbnail link that is designed to attract attention and to entice users to follow that link and read, view, or listen to content. In terms of mental health, clickbait can be harmful in a number of ways, including:
Titles which claim their article or video will 'cure' mental health problems
Use of the words "Crazy' , 'Gone Mad' or "Psycho" contribute and drive stigma and negative stereotypes about mental illness
Constantly clicking on clickbait can be a good indication that you are looking for distraction from something that needs dealing with
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
The fear of missing out refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It can have a detrimental affect on self-esteem.
Social media only exacerbates this issue when we see people's stories and highlights. Companies even use this as a media tactic.
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