7 Ways Online Social Networking Affects Mental Health of Young People

Online Social Networking

Over time, social media has turned into an overwhelming place to be, especially for young people. Social media is useful but can also become a toxic place. Sometimes the youth cannot comprehend the reality of social media. Because social media works on perception and is far from actuality, and young people find it difficult to differentiate between both.

The overuse of social media platforms is the reason for reduced interpersonal and social interaction among families and real-life social circles. Although social media provides communication to connect with others and interact on the internet – it certainly cannot replace face-to-face communication.

The lack of interaction can cause isolation in youth, and they rely more on social media to feel less lonely. It can work as a vicious cycle. 

Also, despite the several attempts from social media giants to filter the content on their platforms, a large amount of content on social media platforms contains violence and the use of abusive language. The Pew Research Center’s 2018 survey of U.S. teens has also found that one in six teenagers have experienced some form of abusive behavior online.

It is impossible to monitor the content that your child is consuming on social media, and it can adversely affect the mental health of teenagers.

Here are some of the reasons why social media could be damaging the mental health of young teenagers.

Social Media is Addictive

Social Media is Addictive
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Nowadays youth spend a considerable amount of time checking and scrolling through social media. Whereas it is acceptable to do it in moderation, but if you spend hours scrolling, you may be addicted to social media.

Social media addiction can impact your behavior, and you may feel a frequent urge to log on or use social media. Addiction to social media is similar to any other substance use disorder with identical symptoms like neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, mood modifying experiences, tolerance and concealing the addictive behavior, etc. Unfortunately, teenagers can easily get addicted to social media and may show these symptoms.

Teens who are addicted to social media can develop anxiety when they stop using them. According to a research study, people experienced some psychological symptoms of withdrawal when they stopped using social media.

Having some self-control and self-monitoring can help you get rid of social media addiction. If you are young and struggling with social media addiction, you can seek help by discussing your issue with your parents, teachers, or a responsible adult.

Adults experiencing anxiety and depression can also improve their mental health by getting off social media and introducing lifestyle changes like eating healthy, exercising, etc. Kratom herb may also help in managing anxiety and keeping you calm. You can read more about it online to learn about other potential benefits of kratom.

Adults Experiencing Anxiety
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Reduced Attention Span

Present time we go through an astonishing amount of content every single day. The information we consume now is five times more information than we did in the 90s. Overload of information on social media has caused us to skim most of the content and information we see. It has caused the average human attention span to drop to 8 seconds.

The younger generation predominantly has a lesser attention span, and one of the reasons is social media. A large volume of content on social media platforms and an urge for newness causes us to switch between topics frequently and ultimately contributing to our exhausted attention span.

Comparison With Others

Social Media platforms can make you feel lonely because of the comparison factor. You may see yourself comparing to others more frequently on social media platforms, which can make you unhappy with your life. Comparison on social media networking sites can evoke depressive symptoms.

Seeking Validation Online

One of the leading causes of depression is due to seeking validation online. Teenagers often seek validation online and think that a certain number of likes or followers on these platforms are a must to be socially acceptable. Young people can often feel low and sad because of this constant need to seek validation online.

Triggers Jealousy

Constant comparison can trigger jealousy among teenage kids. People have also admitted that they feel jealous seeing other people go on vacations, buy expensive clothes and gadgets, etc., on social media. Jealousy in teenagers can make them bitter and resentful, and they may despise their reality.

Impacts Self-Esteem

Impacts Self-Esteem
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Excessive use of social media can have an impact on the self-esteem in teenagers. We are familiar with how people brush up their images with filters to look a certain way on social media. It may be all for fun, but it can lead to serious body image issues and affect their self-esteem. It becomes impossible to judge reality on social media.

Affects Your Sleep

Social media addiction can affect sleep patterns. Teenagers tend to spend a lot of their time on social media during the night and keep checking their social media handles which can cause sleep disturbance.

Those who struggle to sleep often use social networking platforms to pass their time. This habit can cause sleeping problems to become more prominent.

Conclusion Social Networking platforms have gotten all of us closer and provided a way to stay in touch with our loved ones and friends. However, striking a balance between your life and social media can be essential to overcome its negatives.

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