How does social media impact teenagers’ mental health?
This is why you should know what social media can do to teenagers
Social media is very important in teenagers eyes: they connect you with people all around the globe, exposing contents that are widely popular amongst that time period. Whilst social media can be a good entertainment tool, it can also bring negativity to certain groups of people. Once social media allows its users to interact freely, some groups face problems with cyberbullying and posting inappropriate pictures or videos of others, stepping over boundaries of someone’s private space. Furthermore, teenagers in modern society are more likely to suffer from depression due to being a victim of cyberbullying. As bad as depression can lead to, there are many cases where teenagers decided to end things for themselves which is why in this article you will be learning all about teen’s mental health based on what social media can do.
Social media, whether it’s Instagram, Snap chat or Tik Tok consumes most of our lives. Believe it or not there are over 4 billion active users in the world of social media today with most of them spending roughly more than 3 hours a day on the platform.
But does that mean that all social media platforms are terrible?
Obviously it would be stupid to say that social media is terrible. Some people say that it is the way of the future! It allows users to interact with their families and friends that they cannot reach physically no matter how far away they are from each other. A very good example of when social media was very helpful was during the peak Coronavirus outbreak. As a consequence of the outbreak, people are being forced to stay at home and isolated to limit the spread of the disease. This was the time where every social media platform came into play. Lockdown restricts teenagers from going to school and college. However, they are not completely blocked from being able to learn. Remember when you were using Zoom or Google meet? Yeah me too. It was weird at first but then it became clear that no matter what the restrictions were, we are still able to learn and talk to each other online whether it’s during class or just a casual video call.
Now if we come back to the struggles towards mental health, we can see that some platforms are also very helpful in case teenagers need to discuss their struggles. Whether this is based on online harassment, cyberbullying or insecurities, knowing that you aren’t alone and there is someone to talk to is very important as it can raise awareness to others of what your conditions are.
But can social media be harmful to the youths?
The simple answer is yes social media can be harmful to kids and teenagers. Researchers from Mayo clinic found out that majorities of teens between the age of 12-15 suffer greatly from depression due to spending too much time on social media on a single day. Not only that, these teens could also face anxiety, antisocial behavior as well as becoming more aggressive.
I will list some of the key consequences that will make teens suffer from depression and anxiety based on social media. Have you ever been to a party? Have you ever felt what it’s like to be the center of attention in a party? Well I’ll tell you specifically what that feels like. Now with partying, you have to accept that there are potential dangers that come with it. For instance, it will be quite common to see others posting pictures or videos of you (especially ones that are illegal) to friends or families and maybe even enemies. You can’t expect teens to be careful of what they post. Some of them are idiots; they only post because they want more attention to themself. This is why before you do something at the party in the future, be sure to think that you could be viral on social media and how that can give you anxiety and potentially depression.
It’s a great deal to know that teenagers like to compare themselves with one another. And for them, social media is sort of like a show where they have to be the prettiest or the coolest one. They also feel that they have to be better than others, building an image for themself.
As well as wanting to be the center of attention, many teens want to be an internet star hence they will do anything possible to make their video viral. It is common that they will end up doing things which are dangerous and may also be humiliating for them. However, even though teens nowadays are likely to feel like they need to be an internet star, they are usually not aware and not prepared for the consequences of posting these videos whether it’s being turned into memes or mean comments which is why teenagers nowadays need to be careful and think twice before posting anything.
There are ways in which parents could protect their children from facing harms
- Set a limit to their screen time. As a teen myself, it is important that parents know how to set a limit to their child ensuring that they will be on social media for a reasonable time. Make sure to talk to your children about how too much time on social media could affect their sleep activity, meals and their relationships with their parents.
- Be sure to explain to them what’s ok and what’s not. Be sure that your children do not spread rumors about others on social media as that could have an effect on the other person’s mental well-being.
- Encourage them to interact with their friends more in person. This is very important because parents do not want their kids to be socially awkward and by meeting friends in person, they are required to be able to communicate and know how to act.
- Important for parents to give lessons based on social media. Parents can talk about their time on social media and ask their teens how they spend theirs. Be sure to ask what they are doing with their social media and explain how a lot of things nowadays on social media can be unrealistic.
Any concerns about your teens mental health please visit the link below.
Roles that social media plays in mental health
As human beings, our lives pretty much need socializing and companionship from other people so that it thrives us towards our lives and this has a huge impact upon our mental health as we are connected to more and more people. Being socially connected on any platform can guarantee to ease stress as you may find many different types of entertainment which also boosts happiness and joy.
Nowadays, many of the teenagers today rely on social media platforms such as Instagram or Snap chat to connect with each other. Whilst this can benefit many groups, it is crucial to understand that social media can never replace real world human connection. It is true that most teenagers find social media to be their form of entertainment and happiness in life but they also need to understand that it also requires in-person contact with others in order to actually be able to make friends and to socialize properly. Some researchers even found that teens who spend an excessive amount of time on social media platforms may face the feeling of sadness, loneliness and frustration which may lower their self esteem and their awareness in life.
Positive aspects towards social media
Even Though it is crucial to understand that social media doesn’t have the same psychological benefits as real world contact does, there are still good ways in which social media can help teenagers stay connected to one another and support each other.
This is because social media enables them to:
- Stay in touch with family and friends
- Make space and seek creativity inside themself
- Discover new resources which may be useful for them in the future
- Promote products, for instance teenagers who are looking to start up a small businesses
- Find new friends and ask anyone general advice and opinion
Negative aspects towards social media
Since it’s relatively free to express anything they want on social media, the downside to that is there are always bullies on every platform of social media harassing others.
Some teenagers may find social media to be very bad because:
- They may experience negativity such as mean comments and negative publicity
- It can get them to be so addicted to it that it feels like social media is a part of their lives.
- They can face anxiety and depression as a result of overwhelming factors on social media
- They may face cyberbullying as it is very easy to spread hurtful rumors about one another
So to finish this discussion, how does social media actually have an impact on teens mental health?
This is very simple, modern society is very attracted to the use of social media. It’s like a part of a teenager’s life nowadays that they cannot live without it. With the use of social media, whether it’s for work or for socializing there are still issues towards mental well being. Teens can feel sad or depressed due to an overuse of social media as well as being part of cyberbullying. We can all agree that social media is a very entertaining platform where teens can relax and enjoy their time spent there; But then it’s good to be aware that not everyone will be very nice on whichever platform there is. Therefore, it is crucial that teenagers must make sure that their privacy and safety are always up to par otherwise a single slip of any unwanted content could result in a change towards their lives.