The increase in the use of social media in recent years has been exceptional, especially among the kids. The generation of kids that are present right now seems to be very much interested in social media than any generation of kids ever.
It is understood there has somewhere emerged a need for the use of social media and internet. But, the situation so far seems to be exceeding that parameter of the need. This is resulting in an excessive use of social media.
A research done on the use of social media among the youth reveals some alarming facts:
- 91% kids around the world between the age 16-24 use social media
- use of social media is directly linked to an increased rate of anxiety, depression and poor sleep
- Social media proves to be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
The research also suggests that the kids who spend more than 2 hours on social media are likely to report anxiety as well as poor mental health.
Apart from these, there are several other damaging factors about social media that needs to be addressed:
5 Adverse Effects of Social Media on Mental Health of Kids:
1. Social media makes the kid less social
It is the biggest irony of social media that instead of bringing people together it separates them from each other. How?
Well, let’s understand it from a scientific perspective.
Our brain is divided into two hemispheres; the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere.
The right hemisphere of the brain is related to sending and receiving non-verbal messages, which includes body gestures, facial expression, voice tone, eye contact, and intensity of the body. All these factors are very crucial in order to connect with the other person.
But, a lesser use of right hemisphere i.e. a lesser use of non-verbal signals and more use of verbal signals, which is related to the left hemisphere of the brain. This makes the person lose the touch of liveliness.
In other words, excessive use of social media makes a person or in this case, a kid, impaired in making a lively connection with other kids around him.
2. Decreases the performance of a child
Research has shown that the use of social media is directly associated with a decrease in grades.
By studies, it has been found that social media seems to be a form of escape for the children from the pressure of school work.
Another study suggests that the average GPA of a social media user is around 3.02, whereas that of a non-user is around 3.82.
Another study reveals that the score of students decreased by 20% who went online during their exams.
Hence, it is quite evident that social media prominently decreases the performance of students.
3. Ill-effects of cyberbullying
From all the possible miseries of social media, cyberbullying is the lethal one.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a term for online harassment, which includes; verbal abuse, compulsive stalking, threats and many other forms which are certainly unhealthy for the young minds.
As due to kids level of immaturity, they are more vulnerable to suffer serious mental problems. Some possible of examples of which can be; disturbed mind, anxiety issues, low self-esteem, depression and etc.
What makes cyberbullying so lethal is the fact that there is a great amount of anonymity in finding the offender.
Anyone having an internet connection, through their fake ID can spread the vicious web of cyberbullying around innocent kids.
No wonder, cyberbullying has become an alarming fact for the parents all around the world.
4. Lack of privacy
The recent case of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica exposes how social media is using the personal information of users in order to sell to third parties.
However, kids using social media are unaware of the fact, posts their day to day schedules and information on the internet. Ultimately this information serves as a free database for third parties to extract information which is later used for commercial and advertising purpose.
This is another striking fact that your kids must not be aware of.
5. Disturbs the over-all mental health of the child
With being a victim of cyberbullying to becoming anti-social, social media is a plate full of miseries that are being served to the kids of this generation.
Social media has all the features of manipulating a kid’s mind, which researchers have proved again and again.
Many of the kids who excessively use social media are seen suffering from chronic depression, anxiety issues, and anti-social nature.
Kids are not able to cope up with their lives, which leads them to choose the wrong track. Abundant of reports on the internet reveals that social media does have an adverse effect on the mental health of kids.
These are indeed some appalling facts that raise a need to stop our kids from an intemperate and indecisive use of social media.
How Can Parent Parent stop their Children to become a victim of Social Media?
Parents need to be aware of social media’s influence on kids.
Fortunately, there are some ways to stop this from happening to your kids. There are plenty of parental control apps available on the internet. This can help you regulate your kid’s activity on the internet, allowing him/her to view only the things that you want to, they seem to be effective in doing their job works as a wall between the fatal world of social media and your child.
Although there are many helpful apps, the best way to save your kid from falling into the misery of the social world is by creating a healthy and a compassionate environment for your kid.
The general reason for kids to join social media is because of a lack of connection with their parents. This problem can be solved by having healthy discussions with your child and letting them share their opinions and ideas about their life.
If your kids are using sitting more time in front of computers or any gadget, you should strictly follow healthy tips to avoid your children from vision syndrome.
Kids at that age severely feel a need for a friend. If that is not provided, they take help of social media. Parents by serving as a friend for their child can decrease the possibility of the child falling into the pit of social media.
These are the effects of social media on mental health of kids. Being parent if you have any thought on this topic, please write a comment below. Also, do share this article with your friends and family you care.