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Social media is an umbrella term that encompasses all apps, websites, and blogs that allow people from all over the world to interact through the internet. Anyone who wishes to use any social media platform must first sign up and then sign in to view content and communicate with other members of that social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are commonly used social media platforms. Social media, like all technological advancements, has both advantages and disadvantages.
Social media has become an essential aspect of life for many youths in today's society. Numerous young people carry on involving themselves with social media without even bothering to consider its effect on them. The consequences may be both good and bad at times. When it comes to the negative impact of social media on teenagers, the majority of the time, they are unfavourable if the activity is not linked with a commercial or professional objective.
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. People, especially teens, are addicted to social media and have lost sight of the essential things in their lives like family, friends, physical activities, social interaction, sports, education and much more.
One manner in which social media harms our mental health is through the use of unfavourable social comparisons. Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. Continuous comparisons lead to low self-esteem and negative body image in adolescents, increasing depression and anxiety in such people; this includes stalking their achievements, events, their pictures or the events they have attended. On comparing, it makes oneself feel worse about their life.
Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. | Photo by Ángel López on Unsplash
We can only see the virtual aspect of a person while we are on social media sites. This means that we can only see the side of the situation that they want us to see. Many people make an effort to present themselves in a way that they are not.
Bullying among peers is a common practice, which is acceptable to a certain level. However, when it comes to cyberbullying, it has a significant impact on a person's mental health, as the comments or posts may appear on the newsfeed of any individual and spread quickly. Depression and suicidal behaviour can occur as a result of such things.
Particular teenagers are highly prone to be manipulated. Such teenagers may feel the urge to alter their physical appearance as they begin to compare themselves with every other person they come across on social media. This can result in low-self esteem; also, there is a tremendous temptation to overindulge on social media. Hence, it can become an addiction for adolescents and cause them to get distracted, as already mentioned.
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. | Photo by AH NP on Unsplash
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Hence, it becomes a social responsibility for us to keep a check on our and our friends' mental well-being by unplugging our devices, building solid friendships and beginning the search to find our true inner self by meditation, exploring nature and organizing offline get together.
Keywords: negative, unfavourable, friends, depression, teenagers, people, social, mental health
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Facebook-owned Instagram would soon roll out two new tools to safeguard teenagers from harmful content, after whistleblower Frances Haugen testified last week before theUS Congress that Instagram can have a negative effect on the mental health of teenagers. Facebook's Vice President of global affairs Nick Clegg, appearing on CNN's State of the Union show on Sunday, said that the photo-sharing platform will introduce "take a break" feature and also "nudge" teenagers away from bad content.
"We're going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that a teenager is looking at the same content over and over again, and it's content which may not be conducive to their well-being, we will nudge them to look at other content," Clegg said. The platform also plans to introduce a feature called "take a break", where "we will be prompting teens to just simply take a break from using Instagram", he added.
The platform also plans to introduce a feature called "take a break", where "we will be prompting teens to just simply take a break from using Instagram. | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
Clegg, however, didn't provide a timeline for the new tools. In three hours of Congress testimony, Haugen accused Facebook of intentionally refusing to make changes to its algorithms because it put "profits" before people.
"The kids who are bullied on Instagram, the bullying follows them home. It follows them into their bedrooms. The last thing they see before they go to bed at night is someone being cruel to them," Haugen said. She has laid out an inside-out view on the simple "frictions" that would cool off Facebook's "toxic" and "divisive" algorithms that are driving teens and vulnerable populations off the cliff on the world's largest social networking platform. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later posted a staunch defense of his company in a note to staffers, saying that claims by Haugen about the social network's negative effects on society "don't make any sense". (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: features, social media, teenagers, instagram, content, facebook
One in three parents strongly support schools having mental health programmes like peer support leaders, a new poll suggests. The poll indicates that an estimated one in five teenagers has symptoms of a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety and suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens. But the first person a teen confides in may not always be an adult — they may prefer to talk to another teen.
“Peers may provide valuable support for fellow teens struggling with emotional issues because they can relate to each other,” Sarah Clark from the University of Michigan in the US, said in a statement.
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“Some teens may worry that their parents will overreact or not understand what they are going through. Teachers and school counsellors may also have limited time to talk with students in the middle of other responsibilities,” Clark added.
According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine, three-quarters of parents in a new national poll think peers better understand teen challenges, compared to teachers or counsellors in the school.
The majority also agree that peer support leaders at school would encourage more teens to talk with someone about their mental health problems.
The poll found that 38 per cent believe if their own teen was struggling with a mental health problem, their teen would likely talk to a peer support leader and 41 per cent of parents say it’s possible their teen would take advantage of this option.
Another 21 per cent said it’s unlikely their child would seek support from a peer mentor.
The nationally representative poll report included responses from 1,000 parents of teens aged between 13-18 about their views on programmes like peer support leaders. (IANS)
Not just women, men and teenagers are affected by Instagram influencers who set global benchmarks for ideal body shape, fashion, and even facial trends, say researchers.
While perhaps not as focused on ‘thinness’ as women appear to be from female influencers, the study, published in the journal Body Image, confirmed males are responding to the body image and fitness messages shared by Instagram leaders, some with millions of followers.
“This may mean men are less exposed to some of the negatives of social media but confirm the influence of fitspiration (‘fitspo’) and body image on this online platform,” said study author from the Flinders University in Australia.
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Despite the rise in the use of social media, there haven’t been many studies into its effect on men and the new study found there are similarities and differences between women and men.
“While participants all had some vulnerable responses to some types of social media imagery, results typically obtained for women cannot simply be generalized to men,” said study author Marika Tiggemann, who has extensively researched the power of social media images on body image, eating and other behavior in women.
According to the researchers, the new study shows there is a high level of response to fitspiration goals via Instagram influencers.
“It is interesting that both the fitspiration and fashion images made participants feel more inspired to exercise, and we have certainly seen a rise in men following international fitspo and professional sporting hero influencers,” said study co-author Isabella Anderberg.
The team studied responses from 300 US adult men aged 18-30 who were randomly shown images of bare-chested (fitspiration), clothed (fashion), and control images, similar to those posted by Instagram influencers. It was found that exposure to bare-chested and muscular images resulted in significantly lower body satisfaction relative to viewing clothed fashion images or scenery images.
“It’s important to expand this research, including on the ‘Brotox’ facial ideals set in social media which is leading to more men reportedly using skin products and even cosmetic fillers and botox to keep up to influencers,” Anderberg noted. (IANS)