The Effects of Social Media on Teens and How to Prevent Them
Social media was created to make people socialize virtually, and that has been possible to some extent. There are multiple other benefits of social media as well, but the question is do the pros outweigh the cons of social media.
If you aren’t wise enough, things can get worse while using social media platforms. Especially with teens, with a lot of free time and the lack of proper guidance, things can go south for them.
Impact of Social Media on Teens
We all have heard of so-called “Social Media platforms,” but are they really social? Some people use social media purely for socializing, but not everyone has similar intentions. The internet is harsh, and people with bad intentions make social media not social at all. Social media doesn’t depict real human interaction and doesn’t help with the social skills of teens. People on the internet are narcissists and are there to promote themselves instead of caring about others.
Increased Teen Depression
Social Media has taken many teens with its toxicity. Different studies support the fact about social media causing depressive symptoms in teens or everyone in general. A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found out increased loneliness and depression with the high usage of social media. It’s hard to handle the negativity, racism, body-shaming, and harassment going online. Cyberbullying and fake expectations that are way difficult to meet also contribute to added depression or anxiety in teens.
Misinformation and Self-harm Content
Social Media being unregulated, carries tons of misinformation and harmful content. Although social media platforms have their guidelines and rules, people still find a way to spread harmful content. The misinformation has been on the internet for a long time, be it about fat loss, height gain, or even the COVID-19 vaccine. Teens are becoming vulnerable and trying to take their lives by getting addicted to the self-destructive content on the internet.
Avoiding adverse impacts of Social Media on Teens
Set Limit and Monitor the usage
Most of the social media problems are caused by the overuse and the addiction of the platforms. While spending more time on social media, we tend to forget the real world and get lost on the internet. A 2019 study suggests that people who spend more than three hours a day on social media might be more at risk of mental health problems. Now, most platforms also have a “your activity” feature where you can check the total time you’re spending there. It can help you keep track of your social media usage.
Encourage more face-to-face and live interactions
Like we said, social media isn’t social, so we encourage you to spend more time on live conversations. That way, you get to socialize and learn more from different people and perspectives. Having face-to-face interactions with people in real life helps you deal with loneliness and reduces the isolation factor from your life.
Follow people who inspire you more on Social Media
Now in the generation of the internet, everything is there at the tip of your finger. You could get the best out of social media by following influencers that inspire you. You can also use social media to learn, as ample pages share informative content that adds value to people’s lives.
The impacts of social media on teens can get horrific, but things can also get better if you get smart and monitor the usage. People have even lost lives due to social media, so be aware of its usage and negative impact.
Read about how removing your teens’ devices doesn’t always work.
Check out our parenting book – Raising Humans In A Digital World, helping you become a smarter digital parent.