In the present era, access to social media is easier than it was in the past. Almost everybody has social accounts and has access to it anyway. If we talk about teenagers, their lives revolve around it. They are so indulged in their online lives. It seems that they are only physically present in real life. The urge of posting their life on social media has ruined their perception of real life and the people and emotions present in this world.
Excessive use of social media in teens
There is a famous quote nearly every person has read or listened to, “Excess of everything is bad”. This is what is happening to our teenagers. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 14% of 13 to 17 years old are constantly online on the internet and 97% of them are using social media apps i.e. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Inevitably, this screen time does not influence their lives.
What are the possible effects of social media on teens?
Here’s the list of possible effects of social media on teens:
Cyberbullying is the foremost and well-known social media hazard that involves bullying, threatening, name-calling, and disseminating false information about others and whatnot. They are vulnerable to predators and may send and receive unsolicited graphic images, or have them posted without their consent. This can cause significant mental damage.
When teenagers compare their body image to celebrities, they experience an increase in unfavorable emotions toward themselves. These heavily manipulated and controlled photographs make people feel insignificant. Moreover, their concern with the number of likes and comments their posts get is alarming.
Social media is supposed to bring people closer together and reduce distance, yet it appears to achieve the opposite. Many kids who appear to be outgoing online are introverts. Moreover, their contradictory personalities make it difficult for them to communicate and resolve real-world concerns. It is not incorrect to assert that social media contributes to loneliness.
The use of social media and social isolation have a statistical relationship. When teenagers discover photos or videos of a party to which they were not invited, it might make them feel anxious. It’s called FOMO (fear of missing out). Teenagers frequently assume they are interacting with different people via social media, but they are disconnected from the present moment and their life. It can make you feel more lonely, as well as trigger FOMO.
The game of likes and comments, following trends, and uploading reels have gone too far that use of social media seems nearly unproductive. Spending two hours on TikTok, even merely watching them feels like five minutes. As a result of their trouble concentrating, youth have a shorter attention span. And also their academic performance suffers greatly.
Restriction of Physical Activities:
Teenagers who use social media extensively do not devote enough time to activities that improve mental abilities, skills, and physical movement. However, people who exercise regularly release endorphins. It tells our brains to be optimistic and reduce despair. As a result, decreasing activity reduces endorphin secretion, making depression a typical concern.
Impractical Expectations in Relationships:
The projection of false expectations from your relationships, whether with your family or partner, suffocates their authenticity. Teens gradually develop a sense of dissatisfaction as a result of social media. They may never satisfy with their relationships. Moreover, comparison damages their real lives, and insecurities linger with them for the rest of their lives.
Invasion of privacy:
Some websites and apps demand alarming levels of privacy violations. Most teenagers agree to these terms and conditions without even reading them. The list of probable outcomes is just too long. Consider how scary it is to have all of your personal information accessible to the entire world.
Apart from the psychological effects of social media, such as melancholy, anxiety, and overthinking, there are also physical risks to consider. However, long periods spent in front of a screen can cause severe headaches, eye strain, and backache. In the long term, insomnia, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality are enough to plague a parent of a teenager.
Content on Suicide and Self-Harm:
Not only is social media addicting, but it can also lead to suicide and self-harm. On the internet, teenagers will do everything to gain attention. When young kids see someone self-harming to get attention, they follow without hesitation.
Therefore, keeping in view the above discussion we can say, People of all ages, not just Gen Z, should be aware of their usage habits and consider now to be the best moment to reevaluate their social routines and find ways to improve them.
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