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Social media may seem very exciting, especially to young children and teens but it also has some serious implications for them. Teens are spending more time on social media and they seem to have more know-how about the platforms than most adults.
Just like everything else, social media has a good side as well as a bad side. If social media is not used right, it can cause some serious consequences to the younger generation. In this article, we will discuss some of the common dangers of social media for youth.
When teens are not given the right information about using social media, they tend to use the platforms on their own. Proper and firm boundaries need to be established for children to use social media. Since most teens are curious, they will most likely want to take risks and break boundaries, which can lead them to some serious consequences and health risks.
It is normal for teens to have dangerous thoughts when they are using social media. They are exposed to all sorts of online dangers on social media which include cyberbullying, pedophilia, sexting, and pornography.
All of these online threats are damaging to children’s mental health and wellbeing and something needs to be done about them. Besides these usual online threats, there are also subtle, everyday online dangers of social media that remain either unknown, ignored, or minimized.
Children and teens need to be educated about these unknown online dangers lurking on social media and set some appropriate boundaries for them to stay protected on these platforms. Let us discuss some everyday online dangers of social media for youth.
Teens are found attending so many parties with their friends. While partying itself is considered a dangerous thing, the real danger begins when teens post about their activities on social media. They put up their personal pictures and videos where they are seen partying with their friends and doing all sorts of illegal things.
When these pictures are videos are out on social media, everything can see them including their family, friends, enemies, and even future employers. The same content then becomes viral and everyone starts talking about it. While posting them on social media, teens are not thinking straight. In fact, they are not thinking about anything except the public eye and attention they are going to receive.
Teens should always ask themselves three important questions before posting anything private on social media and they are as follows:
Unnecessary comparisons are made on social media. Teens cannot resist themselves from comparing their lives with others when everything is shared online. For most teens, social media has become a show, a platform for them to make their life look more interesting than others.
They are spending long hours on posting the right kind of photos and videos and putting up long, inspiring captions. They are busy building an image on social media. They lie about their true identity and pretend to be someone else in front of everyone. When they focus on creating a fake personality online, they are forgetting their true identity which can put a stop to their maturity.
Teens, especially girls, wear inappropriate clothes and take pictures so they can post on social media. They believe the oversexualized clothing can help them gain attention on the internet. When they receive likes and comments on a particular post where they are wearing revealing clothes, they feel happy to have received that amount of attention.
This can be damaging to their self-esteem as well as their image. By exposing themselves online, they are maligning their image as well as reputation.
Most teens crave to become an internet sensation. Social media apps like Instagram and TikTok are found to be dangerous for young teens because these platforms are allowing them to showcase themselves.
In order to become famous, most teens want to try and do something extreme. In an attempt to become famous online, they are forced to do things that can be humiliating or physically dangerous to them. While doing such attempts, they can injure themselves which may lead to a serious injury or even death.
Teens are subject to humiliation, trolling, and public shaming on social media. It is not only a teen problem but a problem for everyone. Every time someone does something awful or embarrassing, someone takes out their camera, records it only to post it online without giving much thought.
Soon, the video becomes a subject of humiliation and public shaming for everyone. People post mean and offensive comments on the post, contributing to a person’s destruction. Not only teens but adults are also doing the same.
Without thinking about how badly their hateful comments can impact a person’s life, they do it anyway just to spew hatred on others. When young children and teens are subject to such toxicity and hatred, they suffer from several health-related problems such as depression and anxiety.
As per a recent survey conducted among 1500 teens and adults by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement (YHM) in the UK, it has been found out that Instagram is the most damaging social media platform, affecting a person’s mental health.
Another article published by UNICEF proved that social media is bad for a teen’s mental health. Besides developing various mental-health problems, teens can also develop feelings of jealousy, envy, hatred, and less satisfaction with life by spending too much time on social media. Several studies have also suggested that it can lead to sleep deprivation as well as ADHD symptoms.
Therefore, common dangers on social media should be taken into account to find out how badly they are affecting teen mental health. If these problems are sorted out in the beginning, teens can learn how to social media without allowing it to damage their minds.