EL PASO, TX (KVIA) -- The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has brought forth an influx of graphic and unfiltered images, prompting concerns about its potential impact on mental health. Some of these images are popping up on people’s even when they search for other subjects like sports or fashion.
It is important to be aware of this to protect your mental well being.
“Social media is designed to suck you in, keep you coming back hour after hour, minute after minute,” says Dr. Martin, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Texas Tech, El Paso. Dr. Martin suggests regularly checking the timer on our phones and limiting screen time to avoid a negative impact on our mental well being.
However, the challenge emerges during times when many rely on social media for updates on the conflict in the Middle East. To minimize exposure, experts say to avoid looking at content before bedtime, verifying information accuracy, and staying away from negative news cycles known as 'doom scrolling.' Instead, they say staying engaged through supporting relief efforts is recommended.
The impact of war-related content on children is greater. Social media coverage of the war can be distressing for children, Dr. Martin, advises parents to limit social media use to minimize exposure.
Dr. Martin suggests giving children choices to control their social media intake, "You can give them a choice of like, 30 minutes a day or 45 minutes a day." When addressing specific questions about the war from children, she emphasizes open and age-appropriate conversations, urging parents to provide answers that match their child's developmental stage.