This therapist fights online toxicity, one TikTok video at a time

The thought of joining TikTok last year made clinical psychologist Julie Smith apprehensive.

As the video-sharing app’s popularity was surging in late 2019, it was better known for viral dancing clips than as a place to find a therapist.
I think I was the first therapist on there,” 스미스, who is based in England, CNN에 말했다. “I thought I was going to be trolled or ignored.
Initially, it took Smith some time to get used to the appthe thought of being seen on social media wasa discomfortshe had to sit with.
    Filming her first video on therapy concepts in November 2019, she was surprised by an unwelcome guest.
    In those early days, I found it easier to talk to the camera as I walked along, so I filmed as I walked through the forest,” Smith said. “The horse started following me around and decided to steal the show,” going to the bathroom during the video.
    She likes to include the bloopers, 그러나. “They are a great chance to make people laugh and remind us all that mistakes are a part of the process.
    Within a month, those mistakes became less significant to Smith. The excitement and interest in her content grew, and she was gaining 100,000 followers a month by Christmas.
    And when the United Kingdom went into lockdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, she attracted even more followers as people spent more time at home.
    Fast-forward a year, and she’s posting videos on mental health several times a week and has amassed more than 2.2 million followers.
    @drjuliesmith

    🥳 Thank you all so much for following me ❤️ There’s lots more to come! ##mentalhealth ##motivation ##mentalhealthmatters

    ♬ The One That Got Away by Katy Perry𝘊 𝘩 𝘭 𝘰 𝘦

    A bite-size education in mental health

    The impact of Smith’s work on TikTok goes far beyond the numbers. Although she doesn’t offer therapy directly via the app, she offers regular bite-size educational videos focusing on mental health.
    She has covered topics such as self-sabotage, anxiety and narcissism. A video she did for World Mental Health Day, using grains of rice in a clever analogy, 받은 100,000 likes and almost 500,000 견해. A comment left on this video said, “I’m trying to come out of a very dark place and it helps not to feel alone.
    Other TikTok users frequently say her videos have inspired them to consider pursuing a career in psychology.
    I am quite naturally introverted, but I felt quite passionate about making information accessible to peopleand TikTok allows you to access so many people,” Smith said. “I help teach people about how their mind works, how their emotions work.
    That information could help peopleunderstand what’s happening in our bodies when we feel anxious, and effective ways you can bring that anxiety down.
    In a year of lockdowns and social distancing, aside from messages of gratitude, she has been told that her videos have helped save lives.
    You can’t imagine the isolation some people are dealing with and if people can access something that says ‘keep going, there is light at the end of the tunnel,'” 그녀가 말했다, that messagemakes it all worth it.
    @drjuliesmith

    Please like & share this for world mental health day you never know who it could help! ##wmhd ##beinspired ##worldmentalhealthday ##mentalhealthawarness

    ♬ 오리지널 사운드 – Dr Julie SmithPsychologist

    Some of TikTok’s trends aren’t good for kids

    Smith is aware she is only one voice in a vast arena of noise. TikTok has 100 million active users across Europe and more than 100 million across the United States.
    Inevitably, there are TikTok posts and trends that encourage peopleoften kidsto do things that aren’t good for them. One trend earlier this year involved young people portraying themselves as Holocaust victims, while another reportedly saw teenagers take part in theBenadryl Challenge,” and resulted in teenagers overdosing.
    Popular YouTube and Twitch streamer PaymoneyWubby lambasted the platform asTikToxic in a video that now has over 1 million views.
    The potential dangers associated with using social media are becoming increasingly well-documentedparticularly for young people.
    For every additional hour young people spend on social media or watch television, the severity of depressive symptoms they experience goes up, 에 따르면 2019 연구 published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
    Social media may also disrupt activities that have a positive impact on mental health such as exercising and sleeping, while increasing exposure to online bullying, 에 따르면 2019 연구 published in Lancet.
    But Common Sense Mediaa nonprofit that provides education on safe technology usageurges caution on connecting happiness outcomes with social media too readily.
    Dangerous TikTok trends go viral because we like to be liked

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      Dangerous TikTok trends go viral because we like to be liked

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    Dangerous TikTok trends go viral because we like to be liked 02:27

    Micheal Robb, Common Sense Media’s senior director of research, suggested it was far too complex to simply say social media alone impacts mental health negatively.
    Mental health disorders emerge from a complex set of social, genetic, and experiential factors, which have varying influence across adolescentsdevelopment and situations,” Robb told CNN.
    Several large studies of young people have found correlations between heavy technology use and unhappiness. 그러나: correlation is not causation. It’s possible that the effect goes in the other direction. It could be that unhappy people spend more time on social media or use social media in more problematic ways. And the correlations that are found are weak,” Robb said.
    Robb said TikTok can be a source of creativity for people. But he said it comes with a caveat.
    Make sure that use of TikTok, or any social media, doesn’t overwhelm the other things we know are good for kids: getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, being social with friends and family (offline and online), doing their schoolwork, 독서, etc.,Robb said.
    The overall evidence into the impacts of social media on young minds is emerging but is stillin its early stages, and not definitive,” said Bernadka Dubicka, chair of the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK.
    We have never had a generation before that has had to depend on self-acceptance through algorithms and notifications around likes. We don’t know what kind of impact that might have on a mass scale for these generations of kids.

    Putting something positive out there

    Cutting through the noise and encouragement to do harmful things for users can often be a challenge. And for Smith, the dangers found on TikTok are similar to the dangers people can find anywhere on social media.
    She doesn’t deny that the negative and toxic content exists on TikTok. She said she wants to use her videos to help counteract it.
    I can’t make the negative stuff disappear, but I can put something positive out there. That’s my goal with these videoswith each one I want to educate, inspire and motivate someone and leave them feeling a little bit better from when they started.
    Robb encourages parents to have open dialogue with kids and to steer them toward “양, healthy online interactions.
    Discuss what they should do when they encounter negative stuff such as kids acting inappropriately or other users spouting hate speech. Tell them they can always come to you when something upsets themeven if they went somewhere they weren’t supposed to,” 그는 말했다.

    TikTok has parental controls

    The safety and well-being of its users is TikTok’s top priority, and the platform has been using a number of measures to try and combat toxic and potentially harmful online material, a TikTok spokesperon said.
    Users can make their account private, which restricts their uploaded content and incoming messages to followers only, ” 대변인이 말했다. “We also have protections like restricted viewing mode, filters, in-app reporting, and we use a combination of people and technologies to detect and remove inappropriate content and accounts that violate our policies.
    TikTok also said it has introduced greater parental controls, encouraged a localized approach to content policy and even proposed establishing a coalition with other social media platforms to root out harmful content.
    Regardless of what TikTok officials do, Smith plans to stay online to educate people about their mental health.
    If it wasn’t for TikTok there is no way I would have reached this number of people with my messages. There is a lot of negativity about social media being this really awful place and there are those awful corners of social media, but there are also these wonderful corners,” 그녀가 말했다.
    CNN Health의 주간 뉴스 레터 받기

    여기에서 가입하세요 결과는 박사와 함께. 산 제이 굽타 매주 화요일 CNN Health 팀에서.

      Rather than complain about how terrible social media can be, Smith wants to influence it.
      If you can come off the app feeling a bit better than when you started, that’s a good thing,” 그녀는 덧붙였다.

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