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Teens and social media use: What’s the impact- Benefit or Harm?

In Today's world, Social media is an integral element of teens' lives. It can be beneficial or social media harm. A recent Pew Research Center survey of more than 750 13- to 17-year-olds showed that 45% of them are on the internet almost all the time and that 97% use social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

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But what effect does social media usage have on teenagers?

Social media benefits

Social media lets teens create online identities, interact with others, and create social networks. These platforms can offer teens the necessary support, particularly for those who are excluded or suffer from disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Teens also use social media to express themselves and have fun. The platforms also allow teenagers to access the latest news, communicate across borders, and educate their children about various issues, including healthy behaviors. Social media that is entertaining or distracting or offers a meaningful connection with friends and an extensive social network could aid teens in avoiding depression.

Social media harms

However, the use of social media can be detrimental to adolescents, causing them to be distracted, disrupting their sleep, and making them vulnerable to bullying, rumor-spreading, unrealistic opinions of the lives of others, as well as peer pressure.

The risk could be due to how much teens spend on social media. A study conducted in 2019 of more than 6,500 12-to 15-year olds in the U.S. found that those who logged more than three hours per day on social media may be more at risk of mental health issues. A different study in 2019 of more than 12,000 in 13 – 16-year-olds from England discovered that using social media more than three times per day was associated with low mental health and well-being in teenagers.

Other studies have also found connections between high levels of social media usage and symptoms of anxiety or depression. A survey conducted in 2016 of over 450 teens revealed that increased use of social media and service at night and emotional involvement in social media, like feeling angry when unable to log on — are all associated with poorer quality sleep and increased levels of depression and anxiety.

The way teens interact with social media can also determine the impact of social media. A study in 2015 showed that the use of social comparisons and feedback seeking among teens who use smartphones and social media were associated with depression symptoms. A small 2013 study showed that adolescents over 18 who used social media for leisure, for example, by looking at other’s photos and videos, experienced a decline in their satisfaction with life. Social media users who used it to communicate with others or share their content did not experience the declines.

A study from the past on the effects of social media on college students found that the more time they spent on Facebook, the more pronounced their conviction that other people were more content than they were. However, the more time students were out with their group of friends, they did not feel that way.

Due to their tendencies to be impulsive, experts recommend that teens who upload content on social networks could be at risk of sharing intimate images or personal accounts. It could result in teens being targeted, bullied, or even threatening blackmail. Teens are often creating posts without thinking about these risks or privacy issues.

Be sure to protect your teenagers.

You can adopt to promote the responsible and responsible use of social media and minimize the negative impacts it can have. Check out these guidelines:

  • Set attainable limits. Please talk with your child about preventing social media from distracting them from food or homework. Establish a bedtime routine free of electronic media and keep tablets and phones away from teenagers’ bedrooms. Be a role model by adhering to these guidelines yourself.
  • Check your teenager’s accounts. Ensure your child knows you’ll regularly check their social network accounts. It’s possible to check it once per week or more frequently. You must ensure that you do it consistently.
  • Discuss what isn’t acceptable. Refrain your child from gossiping, spreading rumors, bullying, or hurting someone’s reputation online or offline. Talk with your child about what’s appropriate and safe to discuss on social media.
  • Encourage contact with friends in person. This is crucial for teens who are at risk of developing social anxiety disorders.
  • Discuss social media. Be honest about your practices on social media. Ask your teenager what they use social media and what it makes them feel. Make sure your teenager is aware of the fact that Facebook is filled with false images.

If you believe your teen is showing symptoms or signs of depression or anxiety related to using social media, discuss it with your child’s doctor. And If you find Social Media has already harmed your teen, doesn’t matter if it’s emotional, psycological or physical. Feel Free to talk to our expert- We can help you sue the Social Media gaints like Meta. Apply for Free Case evaluation for Social Media Harm Lawsuit today. 

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