Updates: Social media impact on emotions, Instagram's growth and Vietnamese bloggers' plight

Is social media that bad for mental health?

There have been many studies in the last few years on the impact of social media on users' emotional well being. We have carried a number of such reports earlier on ITB. These have generally linked social media use with depression, envy, eating disorders, even a tendency to contribute less to charity.

This latest review of research literature (pdf link here, prone to break in future) on social media's relation with depression is non-committal. It says, the impact of online social networking on well being may be both positive and negative and that the relationship of social media and emotions may be very complex and influenced by many factors.

There comes another study (pdf link: might be lost in future) that finds that quitting Facebook for a week results in emotional well being: ...our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that these effects were significantly greater for heavy Facebook users, passive Facebook users, and users who tend to envy others on Facebook.

Modi most popular world leader?

Though Donald Trump was declared the Man of the Year for 2016 by Time magazine, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi beat all other popular figures by a huge margin in Time readers' poll.  

Time editors' perception mattered more than readers, and a person shaking American politics looked much bigger than one shaking a remote nation and being voted so overwhelmingly by Time readers. For record, of all the votes cast by Time readers, over 18% were bagged by Modi while Obama, Trump and Julian Assange got 7% votes each.

Instagram has 600 million monthly active users and is growing faster!  

After an algorithmic feed change earlier, Instagram had been drawing flak but it seems that the trick has finally been liked by the social media community. 

Just to recall, Instagram, in June, replaced its feed that used to be reverse chronological (latest on top) as in the case of other social platforms, with a feed based on one's preferences.

Of course, Instagram has made a number of other experiments and offered new features in 2016. All these have resulted in a fast growth; the latest 100 million have been added in just six months! 

Bloggers are having a tough time in Vietnam

This week, the Vietnamese government has detained a blogger for posting a large number of videos on Facebook and YouTube.

The videos posted by Nguyen Danh Dung have been  found 'hostile' by the authorities, and 'abusing democratic freedoms'.  

Quynh's this post on her FB page greatly offended govt
Two months back, a prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh had been arrested on a similar charge. This lady blogger, Mother Mushroom, criticizes the government over human rights violations and corruption.

Interestingly, Quynh started as a mom blogger (MeNam - her pen name is adopted from her daughter's pet name, Nam, meaning mushroom) but soon started writing on social topics and became a force to recon with in the Vietnamese social media.