The Negative Effects of Social Media on Teenagers
Social media is a big part of many teenagers’ daily lives so much so that around 51% of teens visit a social networking site on a daily basis.
It’s how they communicate with their friends and family, and it allows them to connect with more people than they would have been able to otherwise.
But there are some negative effects that come along with this seemingly harmless way of connecting online:
It Destroys Their Self-esteem
Social media makes you feel like you are not good enough.
The way that social media is designed, users only see what other people post about themselves and their lives. This can make them think that everyone else has a better life than they do, which can make them feel inferior or inadequate.
Social media can also make it harder for teenagers who are already struggling with body image issues because of the way social media platforms often focus on beauty as an important factor in determining whether someone is successful or popular
It Can Be a Source of Procrastination and Distraction
The distractions on social media can be a source of procrastination and distraction. Students may be preoccupied with using their devices to check updates, post photos or videos, and engage in conversations with friends. It’s easy for students to get caught up in this cycle of distraction from schoolwork that isn’t helped by how readily available social media is on mobile devices.
Limits of Indirect Communication
Direct communication is important.
A face-to-face conversation is important. Even if you’re chatting online with someone, being able to see their facial expressions, emotions and other nonverbal cues can help you understand them better.
So is communicating in person or on the phone; a phone call gives you more time to think about what you want to say before speaking, while in-person conversations have the added benefit of hearing the tone of voice and body language as well as seeing it all at once.
Social media has made stalking easier because people are able to find out more information about their victims’ lives than they used to be able to when they were limited by more traditional methods of communication like phone calls or letters.
Add in the mobile location services and stalking has become easier than ever before.
Imposter Syndrome, Jealousy, Envy
Social media often has the knack of making you feel bad about yourself, even more so for teenagers that are going through incredible life changes all at once. Using filters and seeing all the good aspects of everyone else’s life can lead to feelings of imposter syndrome and excessive jealousy.
Social media can create feelings that you’re never going to be good enough through toxic positivity. There’s even a term now for physical appearance issues related to social media filters and photoshop called Snapchat dysmorphia!
It Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression
A study in 2016 found a link between social media use and increased depression and anxiety.
Depression affects about 13 percent of teens and 12 percent of young adults, according to statistics from Pew Research Center. Social media use has been linked with increased rates of depression, as well as low self-esteem and poor sleep quality among teenagers.
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It Promotes Cyberbullying and Hate Speech
Cyberbullying is not just limited to teens. Cyberbullying affects the victims and their families, and if left unchecked can lead to depression and suicide. The internet provides a vast space for cyberbullies to target others with hurtful language, both in person and online.
Hate speech refers specifically toward racist slurs against black people; anti-Semitic comments made toward Jewish communities; anti-gay remarks made toward LGBT groups; sexism towards women’s rights movements like the #Metoo movement where women have come out about experiences of sexual assault.
It Encourages Plagiarism and Lack of Creativity
You may have heard the term “copycat culture” before. It refers to the tendency of people, especially teenagers, to imitate others and not think for themselves. Since social media is so prevalent in our society today, it has become a breeding ground for this kind of behavior.
When you spend most of your free time browsing through other people’s profiles or watching videos online instead of reading books or going outside, you’re missing out on valuable mental stimulation that can help you develop your own unique ideas and thoughts.
The way we use social media, and our phones have a lot to do with sleep deprivation. The blue light emitted by these devices disrupts the natural production of melatonin in our brains, which can lead to a lack of sleep and fatigue. This lack of sleep is linked to depression, anxiety, and weight gain as well as poor memory, decision-making skills, and mood stability.
People often use social media at night and have been shown to go to bed later, sleep less, and actually sleep worse than those who avoid social media before bed.
Mental Health effects have been associated with increased instances of addiction
In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was found that children who were bullied had higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts as compared to those who were not bullied. With higher rates of depression and anxiety combined with the reward feelings associated with likes and shares, social media can easily become an addiction itself and a gateway to other substance use problems.
While not all aspects of social media are negative, we need to be aware about how much of an impact it can have on our children’s lives.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of some of the negatives associated with it so that you know what to look out for in your own children’s behavior.