How Social Media After the Boston Bombing Can Be a Recipe for PTSD

The Atlantic:

Monday’s horrific events at the Boston Marathon produced horrific images which in the age of social media news means an inescapable constant, unsolicited bombardment of the gruesome aftermath of a gruesome event. While Twitter offered the fastest, most up-to-date, and accurate information, it also served as an unfiltered chronicle of the most distressing imagery, which can have lasting mental and physical effects.

“It’s hard to know what might be the news value in any of this,” Roxane Cohen Silver, a UC Irvine professor, told The Atlantic Wire. “I personally can’t see any value in watching these things over and over again.” Last fall, she completed a study on the lasting mental and physical effects of exposure to graphic images following 9/11 and the start of the Iraq War. The study found that people who watched more than four hours of TV coverage a day in the weeks immediately after both events went on to report PTSD symptoms and, after 9/11, more physical ailments than those that didn’t. “I think it’s important for people to be aware that there is no psychological benefit to repeated exposure to graphic images of horror,” she said at the time of the study.

Read the whole story: The Atlantic

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