Social media offers a great deal of attraction for the younger generation. Especially kids and teens. For them, social media is a world of fun, entertainment, and glamour. They chat with their friends, post and share photos and videos on their feeds, watch videos and play games on social media sites.
Many types of research have proved that children and teens are spending more time on social media sites than most adults. They are highly addicted to their smartphones. When you peep into their online activity, you won’t be surprised to find out that they have been only using social apps consistently.
With constant exposure to digital devices and social media platforms, one can only imagine to what extent this addiction can be damaging for the young generation. The social media effects on teens may seem inconspicuous but can become worse if ignored.
We are going to shed some light on the negative social media effects on teens. Also, it is important to understand how the effects of social media on teens can ruin their mental health and wellbeing.
The Negative Social Media Effects on Teens
Several social media issues are prevailing in our society at the moment. In this digital age and day, it is hard to ignore the harmful effects caused by the misuse and overexposure of social media. Instead of focusing on physical activities and other extracurricular activities, our children are seen cradling their smartphones and browsing through their social media feeds.
According to Pew Research Center’s study of the US teenagers released in 2018, it has been found that 95 percent of teens are addicted to their smartphones and nearly half of them say that they are online on a constant basis.
The ensuing exposure to screen time and social media exploitation can have a severe impact on a teen’s physical as well as mental health. Let us go through some negative effects of social media on teens.
Social media abuse triggers self-esteem problems among teens, especially girls. They begin drawing comparisons with several Instagram models and celebrities, photoshopped to appear prettier, slimmer, and affluent.
Teens make the mistake of viewing them as their role model but in reality, that can be damaging to their self-worth. Several studies have shown that girls spend a lot of time trying to create a flawless post of themselves for social media, worrying they won’t be accepted by their peers and friends.
Recent research has revealed a connection between the extreme use of social media and perceived social isolation. Experts believe that the overuse of social media leads to social isolation. Teens may induce anxiety by thinking about why they are not invited to a party whose ad they saw on Facebook.
This fear of missing out on something is known as FOMO in today’s digital culture. Children think social media is helping them become closer to others, when in fact it is slowly taking them out of the present moment as well as their life. As a result, they feel more isolated.
Lack of Concentration
Children and teens require concentration and dedication as far as their studies are concerned. These days teens are found using social media while simultaneously completing their schoolwork or homework. The use of social media along with school work and studies disrupts their concentration.
Those who take pride in their ability to multitask do not realize that multitasking can sometimes severely impact their important tasks. The constant disruption from social media is actually making difficult for children to pay attention and also reducing their ability to learn and perform.
Many studies suggest that more than half of adolescents are busy scrolling their social media feeds on their smartphones before going to bed. And they are also not getting enough sleep compared to their peers who on average get to sleep an hour more because they do not use their phones prior to going to bed. This is the reason why bedtime use of technology should be avoided at all costs.
What’s more, the blue light emanating from their screens is preventing them from falling asleep on time. besides that, children are awake until the wee hours of the morning, texting with their friends and sharing and posting on social media sites. It’s also the anxiety and stress of the content posted on social media. Teens often stay awake because they do not want to miss out on something their friends or favourite celebrities have posted on social media.
Social media has caused children and teens to have a sedentary lifestyle. They spend more time in front of their screens and not engaging themselves in any other activity. It is obvious that when they spend an excessive part of their leisure time on social media, they will have less time to spend on activities that can help increase their mental skills.
They won’t be able to spend more time learning new skills, hobbies and not engage themselves in any physical activity. They prefer spending time at home watching movies or TV shows on their devices rather than going out to play in the fields.
Truth be told, physical activity is a must for children. When we work out our body release endorphins that communicate with receptors in our brain to trigger a positive feeling and help reduce anxiety and depression.
Because teens and children have attained a more sedentary lifestyle these days, they are not receiving these positive and feel-good endorphins. At the same time, they are not also getting any benefits of improved self-esteem.
The abovementioned were a few negative social media effects on teens and children. If not controlled at the right time, these effects can impact your child’s mental health and development as well as disrupt their lifestyle.
An article on Financial Times proves that social media damages teens’ mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, parents should look into their children’s social media activity to find out if they are safe in the digital realm. For this purpose, they can install parental controls or monitoring apps on their devices.