Is Social Media Use Affecting Teens' Mental Health?
We are often worried about our toddlers getting acquainted with the technology and we don’t want them to get too much attached. Toddlers are at high risk of developing wrong habits and dangerous thoughts in their minds but it is to be noticed that teenagers are at the same risk too. They are also at the developmental age and where we might be able to stop our toddlers from using technology, we can’t do the same with teenagers. So, what can be done? And why is it necessary to be concerned about that?
At teenage, when our kids ask to hand them smartphones and let them use social media especially when they are over 13, we can’t say no. This is their age of being up-to-date with the society, to discuss things with their friends, to do what everyone else of their age is doing. If you stop them, they are more likely to do it any way but it will be without your consent and that’s even more dangerous. So, when you are handing them the smartphone, what should be your concerns and how can you tackle them?
Teens’ Social Media Use and Mental Health
You can’t expect your teen to catch anxiety and depression while using social media, do you? Most of the parents don’t and due to it, they feel that the kids should be left alone with their entertainment and fun. Parents think that if they interfere, it will make their kids go away or feel betrayed. But little do they know that social media has a great impact on the mental health of kids. They are learning a few things from social media that they shouldn’t. They are becoming depressed and anxious day by day due to the things they face on social media.
Let’s take a look at the factors on social media that might be playing a strong role in deteriorating the mental health of your teens:
Kids who have faced or are facing cyberbullying are becoming a victim of depression and stress. Where cyberbullying might not be considered a serious issue but it becomes serious when it threatens the life of your teen in multiple ways. Many teens have decided to choose suicide over dealing with such issues.
Cyberbullying is a cause for humiliation and harassment in teens. They feel humiliated when they see that they are exposed to the public by someone, and this continues with name-calling, threatening calls, texts, and whatnot. If your kid is suffering through it, you need to help them.
No matter how content and satisfied your kid seems to be, when they are on social media, they are not in that mood anymore. Social media is filled with fantasy-based filters and fake life stories. Kids don’t know what is fake and what is not. So, they compare their life with those who have shared fantasy-based life on social media. They feel like they don’t own that glittery life and that their parents have given them nothing. This can easily lead to depression and make them think that it is not the right life for them.
Their sleep habits are changing drastically with the use of social media. The more they get into social media, the more they get used to it. If your kid is taking his/her cell phone on the bed, they are probably going to chat, share, comment, and do other multiple things and become sleep deprived. And when you are sleep deprived, you are probably going to face mental health issues that will come to the surface in a while.
If you don’t know it yet, social media addiction is a real thing and it is just like another substance abuse addiction. As they get addicted to social media, they feel the same rush and excitement as anyone with substance abuse disorder would feel. It is as dangerous as that. So, it is obvious that this addiction is going to make their mental health destroyed sooner or later. They lose their grip on reality and make social media their safe place. They usually don’t care what is happening around them when they have their smartphone in their hand.
With social media, it is very common that you will get communication issues. At first, they might develop good friendships and relationships, but they realize over time that those relationships aren’t real or worse, they never realize it. While they get used to communicating through texts and chats, they forget how to maintain relationships in real life. Even if they get to meet their online partners in real life, they are seen blank. Communication issues can lead to mental health issues where they can question their confidence and self-esteem.
What Should Parents Do?
With knowing all this, parents must be concerned about the mental health of their kids. Here are some of the things they can do to make sure it doesn’t come to that point where their kids are suffering from bad mental health:
- Communicate with them about the danger levels of social media and how it can play with their minds. You need to make sure they know what they are stepping into and how they should treat the difficult things that come their way.
- Monitoring them is the right option at this point. You need to know what they are up to and how they are dealing with things. You should know how to hack a Facebook account of your kid if you need to view their activity there. By monitoring them, you can know their activities on social media and intervene when it is the right time.
Mobistealth is the best monitoring and tracking app that can help you with that. It ensures that you know what your kids are doing and how they are dealing with things. The more you know, the better you can deal with their concerns and take care of their mental health issues.
Knowing what your kids are feeling is the biggest benefit for you and you can make sure their mental health is well taken care of. Follow some effective tips on parenting and become a good parent to your kids.
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