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Facebook Safety Check is now a permanent, anxiety-inducing fixture in our lives

Facebook Safety Check is now a permanent, anxiety-inducing fixture in our lives

Safety Check – Permanent Tab in FaceBook App Menu

In the repercussion and during the terrorist attacks and natural disasters, Facebook’s Safety Check was organized enabling users to mark themselves as safe and to check if their loved ones were alright. The social network has now announced a permanent tab in the app menu which leads to a Safety Check page or hub of moody snooping, if one will.

In an update, the Facebook team had mentioned that there is now a single place to go to see where Safety Check has been activated recently, get the Safety Check information one needs and probably be capable of helping the affected areas.  The introduction means that the tool is not a locally-relevant one;on the other hand, more of a news hub of global conflicts and emergencies, possibly overwhelming news feed for disasters.

The motive behind the launch of Safety Check is not known but Facebook had informed that it simply wants to build a safe and supportive community with this Safety Check tab. Acceptance and demand for the feature could have augmented resulting in the change.

It could also be the cause of the world getting worse and needing a social network page to check that misery.  Or probably it could be due to the response of those users finding the feature baffling and upsetting when it tends to show up in their feed.

Safety Behaviours to Distract/Protect

Whatever may be the reason, it is stress-free to see the page for those with a gloomy fascination for tragedy and disasters.  It could be a focus for users who tend to fight with mental health matters. Users who tend to suffer from social anxiety are said to set up Safety Check behaviours to distract and protect themselves. The habit had been researched for decades by experimental psychologists and the categorical conclusion was that these behaviours frustrate instead of counter feelings of anxiety. Each time safety behaviour tends to be utilised, in social condition, it could be something as avoiding eye contact.

It strengthens the notion that the situation seems to be frightening and the anxiety levels tend to get raised if not heightened in expectation of disaster. In Psychology Today, Craig Marker, chair of Mercer University’s department of clinical medical psychology, had explained that he advises patients to do the opposite of what their anxiety tells them.

He adds that their anxiety is telling to play it safe though to get past it, they need to push themselves.  They make them wear bright and outrageous clothing to draw attention to themselves.  When they do these opposite behaviours they tend to be telling their body that there is nothing to fear and they then have the potential of coping on their own irrespective of the circumstance.

Safety Check: Dipping Safety Behaviour/Reduce Self-Focus

These researchers have been related precisely with social behaviours and social anxiety and not in-app fear mongering. However minus the data to comprehend how Safety Check tends to affect the two billion users of Facebook, the prevailing peer-based studies provides an insight on the influence of the tool.

In the US itself, around 18% of the inhabitants tend to suffer from anxiety and the figure seems to differ from nation to nation, each year though inferred to the community of Facebook it would amount to 360,000,000, excluding those with panic disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder together with other related mental health problems.

Study of 2008 published in the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry portrayed that the value of dipping safety behaviours and reducing self-focus as a way of therapy for those suffering from social phobias.

Safety Check is not a strange concept of associating social media with social anxiety. The medium tends to offer a powerful platform for some of our negative social behaviour which can be performed to the maximum.

Instagram – Negative Effect on Mental Health

The Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement had carried out a survey and observed that among 1,500, 14 to 24 years of age, Instagram had been the most negative effect on mental health. While Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook had all been deemed harmful by the research, the image and video sharing platform had been discovered to develop feelings of anxiety and insufficiency.

Laura Turner, a writer for the Atlantic had written an article in July wherein she described how Twitter aggravated her own mental health problems. She commented that `as a lifelong sufferer of anxiety utilising Twitter is also making my anxiety easier than ever, but the comparison Twitter enables has made the experience of anxiety worse’.

Turner went on to describe the two major strands of medically recognized anxiety – namely trait, which is said to be a habitual as well as obstinate tendency to worry and state – a temporary response to a threatening condition. The permanent Safety Check tab of Facebook can be debated to feed both the issues.

 

Tool for Reinforcing Fear

Those who tend to have opened the Facebook app in a distracted manner and scrolled for some minutes through their news feed before asking themselves why they are again gaping at baby photos and holiday snap of their friend could relate how painfully habitual social media tends to become.

Safety Check can offer a tool for reinforcing fears, as safety behaviours tend to do in social conditions. The fear of death or of their loved one is said to be a common kind of anxiety though could present in overwhelming manner in severe cases, resulting in the user being a housebound, suffering panic attacks, continuously imagining various ways of dying and generally being preoccupied with thoughts as well as fear of death which could interfere with their routine way of life.

Safety behaviour of an individual who tends to be anxious would be to collect all details regarding probable dangerous situations. For all the apprehensions that social media can worsen, harassment, body issues, social worries, bodily fear for one’s safety and their loved ones was maybe  something which had got away from its purview.

Opening the Facebook safety check  app now for some could provide an increased heart rate as the evolutionary fight or flight fear response comes in and they tend to find out the daily, hourly, minute-to-minute opportunity that the predicament has been affecting their own sense of safety.

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