Are you worried about your kid spending long hours in social media? Teens are extremely good at keeping themselves occupied in the hours after school unit way past bedtime. However, experts worry that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and text messages that have become so important to teenage life are promoting anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, loneliness and poor body image. Nowadays, teens have an attention span of less than 5 minutes compared to 12 minutes back in 1990’s. Social media has negative and dangerous impact for kids and entire society. In order to protect teens we have to understand the damage social media is causing these days.
To begin with, the more teenagers use social media, the less happy they seem to be. Recent studies have shown that using social networking sites can produce anxiety, increase people’s stress levels and negatively affect a person’s sense of self. It was proved that social media can cause a person to develop a mental health disorder. A recent study published by San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, proved that of over half a million eighth through 12th graders found that the number exhibiting high levels of depressive symptoms increased by 33 percent between 2010 and 2015. In the same period, the suicide rate for girls increased about 65 percent. This study shows how dangerous side effects of social media might be.
Second point, social media wastes huge amounts of teenagers free time. According to a new study from the family technology education non-profit group, teenagers are spending more than one-third of their days and nearly nine hours on average watching music videos, texting, posting or just scrolling through Facebook feed. This leads to several other problems. Usually, the school work assignments takes longer to complete, because student spends time on distracting activities. Furthermore, pupils are not able to plan their time and sleep schedule, so they remember the piece of information less well or not at all. In order to avoid these problems, parents should take an interest how much time their kids spend on social media.
Teenagers use social media for socializing. The scariest thing is that most of kids do not understand that people they “meet” online may not be who they say they are. Your 12-year-old kid might be speaking with someone who claims to be a 12-year-old kid, but who is, in reality, an adult male. It’s way easier to create fake identity in social media than you think. Furthermore, cyberbullying is a growing problem and each year more teens or even adults become the victims of this cruel and unfair action.
Social media allows teens to stay in touch with friends and, if used correctly, boost self-esteem. However, there are inherent dangers involved with social media and it’s important to discuss it with teens. If you, as a parent, ever notice your kid begin to show signs of anxiety or depression, you should instantly talk with them about it. We have to raise awareness among young people about the dangers on social media. It’s the only way to fight against problems networking sites cause these days.