Can’t stop checking social media for the latest COVID-19 health information? You might want to take a break, according to researchers at Penn State and Jinan University who discovered that excessive use of social media for COVID-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma.
“We found that social media use was rewarding up to a point, as it provided informational, emotional and peer support related to COVID-19 health topics,” said Bu Zhong, associate professor of journalism, Penn State. “However, excessive use of social media led to mental health issues. The results imply that taking a social media break may promote well-being during the pandemic, which is crucial to mitigating mental health harm inflicted by the pandemic.”
The study, which published online on Aug. 15 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, included 320 participants living in urban districts of Wuhan, China. In February 2020, the team gave the participants an online survey that investigated how they accessed and shared health information with family members, friends and colleagues on social media, specifically WeChat, China’s most popular social media mobile app.
The team used an instrument created to measure Facebook addiction to assess participants’ use of WeChat. Using a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, the survey assessed participants’ views of WeChat in providing them with informational, emotional and peer support. The survey also assessed participants’ health behavior changes as a result of using social media.
Statements related to informational support included, “I use WeChat to gain information about how to manage the coronavirus epidemic,” and “If I have a question or need help related to the coronavirus epidemic, I can usually find the answers on WeChat.” Statements related to emotional support included, “My stress levels go down while I’m engaging with others on WeChat,” and “The health information on WeChat helps me alleviate feelings of loneliness.” Statements related to peer support included, “I use WeChat to share practical advice and suggestions about managing the coronavirus epidemic,” and “I have used some of the information I learned from WeChat friends as part of my management strategies for coping with the coronavirus epidemic.”
The survey also investigated participants’ health behavior changes related to the use of WeChat, asking them to rate statements such as, “The health information on WeChat has changed many of my health behaviors, such as but not limited to wearing face masks, using sanitizer, or washing hands.”
To assess depression, the researchers used a 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale in which participants rated statements such as, “I couldn’t seem to experience any positive feeling at all,” and “I felt that life was meaningless.”
According to Zhong, secondary trauma refers to the behaviors and emotions resulting from knowledge about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other. Using the Secondary Trauma Stress Scale, the researchers asked respondents to rate statements such as, “My heart started pounding when I thought about the coronavirus epidemic,” and “I had disturbing dreams about the coronavirus epidemic.”
“We found that the Wuhan residents obtained tremendous informational and peer support but slightly less emotional support when they accessed and shared health information about COVID-on WeChat,” said Zhong. “The participants also reported a series of health behavior changes, such as increased hand washing and use of face masks.
More than half of the respondents reported some level of depression, with nearly 20% of them suffering moderate or severe depression. Among the respondents who reported secondary trauma, the majority reported a low (80%) level of trauma, while fewer reported moderate (13%) and high (7%) levels of trauma. None of the participants reported having any depressive or traumatic disorders before the survey was conducted.
“Our results show that social media usage was related to both depression and secondary trauma during the early part of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan,” said Zhong. “The findings suggest that taking a social media break from time to time may help to improve people’s mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Other authors on the paper include Yakun Huang and Qian Liu of Jinan University.
Score Media and Gaming Inc. Virtually Opens The Market – Canada NewsWire
Score Media and Gaming Inc. empowers millions of sports fans through its digital media and sports betting products. Its media app ‘theScore’ is one of the most popular in North America, delivering fans highly-personalized live scores, news, stats, and betting information from their favorite teams, leagues, and players. The Company’s sports betting app ‘theScore Bet’ delivers an immersive and holistic mobile sports betting experience and is currently available to place wagers in New Jersey, Colorado, and Indiana. theScore also creates and distributes innovative digital content through its web, social and esports platforms. For more information visit https://scoremediaandgaming.com/
For Market Openings: Media may pick up a feed from the TOC (television operations centre) for all market open ceremonies. The feed is named TSX Transmit 1 (SD-SDI) and is produced at the TMX Broadcast Centre and sent live to the TOC. To pick up the feed via the Dejero network, please contact [email protected]. The client feature video will begin playing on the TMX media wall at approximately 9:27 a.m. ET and the markets will open with the sound of a siren at 9:30 a.m. ET
Date: Tuesday October 27, 2020
Time: 9:00am – 9:30am
Place: Virtually Broadcast
SOURCE TMX Group Limited
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: James Bigg, Sr. Manager, Communications, Score Media and Gaming Inc., 647-638-9281
Four dead after boat carrying migrants capsizes off northern France: media – TheChronicleHerald.ca
PARIS (Reuters) – At least four people died after a boat carrying about 20 migrants capsized off the coast of Loon-Plage near Dunkirk, northern France, French media reported on Tuesday.
“This is the heaviest toll we’ve ever had in the north,” Herve Tourmente, the top state official in Dunkirk, told French radio France Bleu Nord.
Another 15 people were rescued, with eight suffering from hypothermia and two in cardiac arrest, local firemen said earlier on Tuesday.
A major search operation was launched after the boat capsized in the morning. Emergency and medical crews attended the scene, along with a French Navy helicopter.
French officials also confirmed people had lost their lives, without giving an exact number.
“My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who tragically lost their lives in the Channel today,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter.
“We have offered the French authorities every support as they investigate this terrible incident and will do all we can to crack down on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these dangerous journeys.”
Several thousand migrants have attempted the dangerous crossing of the English Channel this year, often paying people traffickers to help them through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in overloaded rubber dinghies.
Britain has repeatedly pressed President Emmanuel Macron’s government to do more to prevent the migrants leaving France.
(Reporting by Pascal Rossignol; Writing by Dominique Vidalon and Michel Rose, editing by Ed Osmond and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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