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Social Media and The Effect It Has On Us by Verena CamesascaMonday, 6 July 2015
Remember that game we played on the iPad when we were little, that one with the little animals that you swipe around to create some kind of farm? No? Me neither. Because when I was younger, I spent my days playing with Lego or my incredibly awesome wooden train set. Social media has crept up behind our backs and thrown a big ass potato sack over our eyes. The younger generations are completely blinded by the wraths of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our daily life revolves around getting up, checking our newsfeed, sitting around scrolling and fishing for likes and contemplating a way to come up with the best caption for our latest image post. I think we are rapidly forgetting what it was like to make sandcastles, friendship bracelets and anything that remotely requires ingredients or effort.
I agree that this may be a bit harsh and I am well aware of the benefits of social media – yes, it is great to stay in touch with all your friends around the world, yes, it is great to be able to send a quick message on Facebook if you're out of credit but can we just address the effect this is having on young kids and teenagers in the past 10 years?
The pressure of constantly needing to stay ‘online’ and ‘socially present’ is causing major distraction to actual important issues that we should be facing - instead of teenagers sitting down and thinking about the decisions that they need to make for their future, their time is filled with the urge to connect with their friends, post a picture and climb the social ladder that leads absolutely nowhere. Not only is there an issue of distraction and lack of interest in anything else that isn’t social-relevant, there is a major issue of how this can harm so many teenagers through cyber bullying and harassment.
7 in 10 Girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance in school and relationship with friends and family members, 24% of teens have had embarrassing or private information published about themselves without their permission, and 41% of social media-using teens have experienced at least one negative outcome as a result of using a social networking site which is where severe insecurities about ones body and personality comes from. 62% of girls are insecure about themselves and 75% of girls with low self-esteem report engaging in negative activities such as eating disorders, cutting, smoking, and drinking when feeling bad about themselves.
Enough of the statistics, I think we need to introduce the idea to teens that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are fascinating and extremely useful parts of our day-to-day routine but should definitely not be used as a platform with which one evaluates themselves with. This generation has grown up with a great skill – the ability to work with technology like it’s a sixth sense, yet it has its major setbacks, and is steering so many young kids off course, like a drug, causing them to become engrossed with this idea of needing to be present and popular and ‘liked’ on this intangible platform of duck lips, hot dogs and crazy challenges.
What do you think of the downside of social media in comparison to the pro's? Let's discuss.