Social media - reason number 3,427,5981 to ween yourself off it

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Especially for younger people - the small screens are addictive and I mean that in the bad way.
A lot worse than people will admit.   I say: "I can give it up anytime" and other people utter a nervous chuckle.

From Wired:

They saw a YouTube video. Then they got Tourette’s
Kirsten Müller-Vahl had a major mystery on her hands. It was June 2019 and Müller-Vahl, a psychiatrist at Hannover Medical School in Germany and head of its Tourette’s outpatient department, was being inundated by patients with tics unlike anything she had seen before.

Not only were the tics complex in nature, involving several muscle groups, even more bizarrely the symptoms of each patient bore a striking resemblance to one another. “The symptoms were identical. Not only similar, but identical,” she says. Although all had been formally diagnosed with Tourette’s by other physicians, Müller-Vahl, who has been working with patients with Tourette’s syndrome for 25 years, was certain it was something else entirely. Then a student came forward who knew where she had seen those tics before.

All the patients were displaying the same tic-like behaviours as the star of a popular YouTube channel. Gewitter im Kopf (meaning ‘thunderstorm in the head’) documents the life of Jan Zimmermann, a 23-year-old from Germany with Tourette’s. The channel’s raison d’etre is to speak openly and humorously about Zimmerman’s disorder, and it has proven to be a hit amassing more than two million subscribers in two years.

Dr. Müller-Vahl's paper is here: Stop that! It’s not Tourette’s but a new type of mass sociogenic illness

We report the first outbreak of a new type of mass sociogenic illness (MSI) that in contrast to all previously reported episodes is spread solely via social media. Accordingly, we suggest the more specific term “mass social media-induced illness” (MSMI).

Not the first, just the first to be recognized. Tourette's is outside the norm enough that cases are easy to recognize.  Other pathologies - sociopathy, Progressive Personality Disorder, etc... fit within the mainstream culture so cases are not as widely remarked.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on September 3, 2021 6:06 PM.

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