Multitasking has become a frequent topic in our lives. It’s an amazing feat to can manage everything.
We rely on our phones to work, school as well as our social and personal lives. What was the last time you went out with your phone in your pocket and continued moving? It’s become a major element of our life. Social media is also a part of our lives. It’s also creating a ripple effect on teens today.
Social media use
In 2005, when social media was just beginning to take off, five percent of people within the United States were involved in social media. In 2019, the number was up to around 70 percent.
- Pew Research Center surveyed social media use and its popularity in US adults at the beginning of 2019. The study revealed that the top social media platforms used by people over the age of 18 comprise YouTube and Facebook Teens prefer SnapChat and Instagram While TikTok is reported to be the fastest-growing social network among young users.
- Social media usage is all teens today. Pew Research Center reports 97 percent of teens between 13 and 17 are on minimum one among the the seven major platforms on the internet.
- It is a fact that the amount of time you spend on social media is staggering. A study suggests that teens aged 13-18 spends around nine hours online on social media every day. teens between the ages of 8 and 12 are active for around six hours per day.
As with all things, social media has its pros (the positive) and cautionary stories (the bad) and threats (the ugly) that lurk in the shadows and affect the lives of a lot of people, particularly teens.
Pros The reason why social media is beneficial?
Technology and social media give us more convenience and greater connectivity:
- keeping in touch with family and friends around the world via text messages, email, FaceTime, etc.
- easy accessibility to research and information
- Bill pay and banking available at your right at our
- online learning and job skills, as well as the discovery of content (YouTube)
- Participation in civic involvement (fundraising or social awareness gives the opportunity to speak)
- fantastic marketing tools for marketing
- possibilities for remote work
Social media is beneficial, but when teens are uncomfortable with things they read or see on social media, they should take their feelings into their own hands and speak to someone – an adult, a teacher or any other trusted adult. The use of violence, threats, and bullying in social networks are all indications that the person who is doing these behaviors needs help.
Cons Social Media: Why are they negative?
Alongside the positives, there is the negative. While it has many benefits how social media works can bring many potential problems.
- The Internet vs the Real. Social media isn’t the issue. It’s the way that people use it in lieu of in-person communication and socializing. “Friends” are on the social network might not be friendsand could also be people who are strangers.
- More frequent use. The longer you spend on social media could result in social anxiety, cyberbullying depression, as well as exposure to content that’s not suitable for an individual’s age.
- Social media is addictive. If you’re playing games or completing a task that you have to complete, you want to do it as efficiently as possible. When you’ve succeeded your brain will send you a boost of dopamine and other hormones that promote happiness which make you feel happier. This same mechanism is in place when you post a photo on Instagram as well as Facebook. When you notice all notifications for likes and positive feedback appearing at your fingertips, your brain will begin to think of the reward as an incentive. But it’s not the only thing, social media can provide positive mood-altering experiences.
- The fear of missing out. FOMO is now a frequent topic, and can lead to constant checking of social media websites. The thought that you could be missing something when you’re not on the internet could affect your mental health.
- Self-image issues. Social media platforms offer the tools to gain the approval of others for their appearance as well as the chance to judge themselves against other people. This can lead to body image issues. It is believed that the “selfieholics” and those who spend the majority of their time on social media and scrolling are those most at risk of this. Actually, most college students who log on to Facebook at minimum five times per day are likely to connect their self-worth with their appearance. This doesn’t mean the primary problem lies with social media, but it acts as a conduit for it that is further aggravating the issue. The similar kind of behavior to other users.
Bullying and social media
There is one negative aspect that technology can offer. Although bullying isn’t an entirely new idea, technological advancements and social media have elevated bullying to a whole new dimension. It is now a constant present threat cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined by the State of Rhode Island anti-bullying law and regulations define cyberbullying and bullying in the following manner:
“Bullying” is the usage in one or more classes of verbal, written or electronic communication, or a physical gesture or act, or any combination of them directed at a child that:
- may cause physical or emotional injury to the student, or damages to property of the student
- The student is at risk of injury to oneself or damage to their property
- Creates a frightening, threatening or hostile education environment for the student
- is infringes upon the rights of the child to take part in school activities. This violates the right of the student to participate in school
- significantly and significantly impairs the learning process or the smooth running of an institution
“Cyberbullying” refers to bullying that occurs through technological means or electronic communications, which may include, but is not restricted to the transmission of signals, signs, pictures, writing sound texting, data, or any other type of intelligence sent in whole or parts by wire radio, electromagnetic photo electronic or optical system, such as however not restricted to, email, Internet communication, instant messaging or facsimile.
Statistics on bullying
Every seven minutes, children are victimized. However, intervention is not common adults intervening in just four percent of the cases while a peer is involved in 11. A staggering 85 percent of all instances of bullying do not get addressed.
Below are some facts about how widespread cyberbullying and bullying has been According to StopBullying.org:
- One in four (25 per cent) teens have been bullied as well as up to 43 percent of them have been victimized on the internet.
- Nine out of 10 LGBTQ students were subject to harassment at school or online. Youth of mixed race and ethnicity are more vulnerable to being victimized over those who identify with only one race. Children who are overweight or gay or have impairments have a greater chance be bullied more than other children.
- A majority of them have not informed them or their adult parents about anything hurtful or hurtful that occurred to them on the internet.
- 5.4 million children remain at for a day, because they are afraid of being intimidated.
Suicide and social media
Unfortunately, the negatives of social media could cause harm to young minds. Suicide remains one of the most common causes of death among young children younger than 14. In most cases, young people die from hanging.
- Suicide rates among children aged 10 to 14-year-olds has increased to more than 50 percent in the past three decades according to the American Association of Suicidology.
- The suicide rates of children aged between 10-14 are extremely low, but they are slowly creeping up as per the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
What can parents do?
As parents There are things you can take to enhance our children’s lives both online as well as in their real lives.
- Try to model the behavior we wish to observe.
- Make sure you set boundaries in the right way when you hand your child their first smartphone. You can set parental controls on their phone that allow the ability to access their passwords. The phones should be charged in a location outside of their home in the evening, and be turned off at least an hour before bedtime.
- Discuss with your children about the reasons why certain things are best kept confidential.
- Make time to engage with your children face-to face. This will teach them to interpret social cues, both verbal and non-verbal.
- Talk to your children without looking at your phone.
- Find opportunities to have real conversations that don’t involve lectures.
- Be aware of cybersecurity concerns and privacy concerns.
Technology has revolutionized our lives and work as well as how we socialize. But technology can’t replace the need for parental supervision.
For more parenting tips for parents, please visit this Growing page of our Lifespan Living health and wellness blog.