Millennials Are Obsessed With Self-Care, Thanks to the Internet

Learning self-care may be an upside to spending so much time online. (Photo: Getty Images)
Learning self-care may be an upside to spending so much time online. (Photo: Getty Images)

Millennials are recognized by their predecessors as the generation attached to their screens. And while this may be true and often criticized, a new study shows that there are positive outcomes from this behavior.

According to research done by ERIC Institute of Education Sciences, there is in fact a link between the increased self-care of Americans ages 18 to 34 and their use of the Internet. For this young population, the Internet has opened up a new line of communication surrounding the intimate topics of self-care. And while this includes exercise, eating and beauty regimes, it also touches on the stigma of mental illness.

“Students are active users of the Internet and search the web for a variety of personal health needs,” the report states. “Students reported searching the Internet to identify self-care strategies, alternative therapies, and information related to nutrition and fitness.”

Google Trends confirms the increased search for information regarding self-care through identifying the high-level of interest in the term. Throughout the past five years, “self-care” is at its most searched, which is closely connected to the relevance of bloggers. As the generation that uses the Internet the most, millennials are in-tune with the many teachings of online gurus, who usually stay within the realm of lifestyle topics.

According to a 2015 study, blogs were found influential in making purchasing decisions, which reasonably crosses over to the adoption of certain practices. But there’s still a need to address a number of disparities related to beauty, style, and health, such as income level. “Low-income populations increasingly rely on e-health information but may lack the knowledge and skills to interpret and evaluate the information,” the Institute writes.

On the upside, discussion of mental-health as it relates to self-care, whether it leads to action or not, goes a long way toward decreasing stigma.

Time to Change reported a number of promising findings in its “Attitudes to Mental Illness 2014 Research Report,” that likely coincide with the use of Internet by millennials. By observing trends regarding fear and exclusion of people with mental illness, those aged 16 to 34 are seen with the most positive attitudes.

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