Technological innovations have blessed human beings with advanced devices and facilities that have become an important part of daily lives. The internet is practically making the world go round by creating greater avenues for people to collaborate across the globe. Unfortunately, the over-indulgence of teenagers on the internet has started to affect their overall well-being.
It is imperative to acknowledge that teenage is an extremely vulnerable period that exposes adolescents to different influential aspects of life. The impact that social media can have on teens should be of great importance to every insightful adult. Social media can accelerate and support learning, yet it can also have the various damaging effect on teenagers.
Some of the negative effects of media on teens include:
Depression is the most common emotional disorder associated with social media use. Teenagers feel inferior to their counterparts on social media and often suffer from depression. The necessity to blend in, be noticed, and accepted by their stand out media friends can drive teenagers to this type of emotional disorder.
2. Cyber bullying
Cyber bullies make use of the media sites to spread false, awkward, and unpleasant information about specific users. Cyber bullying is a major social media evil that results in cognitive issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, loneliness, and suicidal tendencies in users. The privacy settings on social media accounts are supposed to allow only the chosen contacts to view specific content posted by the users. But, privacy is virtually non-existent on media. Social media compromises privacy, which exposes youngsters to problems like image-based abuse and body shaming.
3. Addiction to the internet
Uncontrolled media usage leads to internet addiction among teens. When young children spend more time on the internet, they get exposed to new ideas and stories that entice them to explore more. If not managed early, this exploration develops into an addiction and can impact children’s personal development, mental health, and academic performance.Media can impact brain development by affecting how it handles information, responds to situations, and retains information. Internet addiction may result in structural changes in the brain and reduction in grey matter. Multitasking with media can be a reason for adolescents taking longer to complete their tasks, which also hampers the quality of their studies and homework.
4. Sleep deprivation
One of the leading causes of sleeplessness in teens is social media. Adolescents stay active on the internet sites, especially during sleep hours. This disrupts their sleep schedule and aggravates risks associated with sleep loss. Social media usage can disturb sleep patterns by forcing teens to stay awake through the night to look at notifications. It is a fact that teenagers need 7-8 hours of sleep and not getting the right amount of sleep can harm their health. They have difficulty in learning and concentrating, and continuously feel stressed or restless. They may become irritable and suffer from health problems such as viral illnesses acne, and weight gain.
5. Low self-esteem
Teenagers come across several images that portray perfection. The internet is swarming with images flashing ideal body-types that may have been cosmetically modified. These types of unrealistic standards of beauty impact the self-esteem of adolescents whose bodies are experiencing unexpected changes. Images of models flaunting flawless skin and complexion can induce insecurity among teen. Ongoing exposure to unrealistic standards can influence how teenagers observe their own bodies. These observations can leave a negative impact on the mental and physical health of the teenager.
6. Social Skills
Social skills help teenagers to form and maintain friendly relations with their counterparts. Since the teenagers are spending a lot of time on social networking sites, they end up developing interaction skills that may not be applicable to the real world. While social networking sites are found to strengthen existing relations, it’s important that teenagers learn to establish meaningful and personal interactions with people. Socially isolation in the real world can result in depression and suicidal tendencies. With teenagers spending more time on the social networking sites than interacting with real people in the offline world, they are finding it difficult to develop effective public skills and making themselves prone to psychological problems.
7. Sexual behavior
Overtly sexualized images of pubescent females on the social media can hugely impact teenage girls who themselves were just children until recently. The sexually explicit matter is common throughout various social media sites. Getting exposed to erotic content that depicts harmful sexual behaviors can negatively influence youngsters who are on the verge of discovering their sexual identities. This may instigate them to develop irrational expectations that make it difficult for them to form healthy sexual relations or develop unsafe sexual behaviors.
Hence, the greatest approach to reduce the negative bearing of the media on teens is to equip them with a strong ethical system and encourage them to create solutions that enable them to safely navigate user-oriented social platforms. It is in the best interest of the young generation that their parents manage their exposure to the media with the purpose of curtailing its negative effects.
Here is how parents can manage the impact of media on teens:
The parents could try to identify with these effects and how it endangers the physical and mental fitness of their children.
They should establish good communication with their teenage children to keep them away from social media evils.
They can familiarize themselves with social networking sites to understand how it drives teens to addiction.
The parents can install a monitoring app on their children’s device to track social media use.
If necessary, parents can set some basic rules on social platform usage.
As much as social media comes across as a great networking tool, it is impossible to overlook the harms that it can bring to a society. Adolescents are particularly susceptible to potential risks that social media usage poses. If not recognized and handled on time, these negative effects of media can be risky to the social well-being and health of your teenage children. The parents play a major role in keeping their children of impressionable ages away from the ill effects of social media.