Social media today has become one of the most popular means of communication, socializing and acquiring knowledge in our lives. However, because its popularity in our society is continuously rising, the negative impacts that come with it also increase in number.
There are many studies out there that prove how much time we spend every day glued to our screens (smartphone, laptop or tablet); this is becoming a problem for many people around the world. The need to be constantly connected can make us feel unworthy without receiving likes on every single photo we upload or even neglecting other duties like brushing our teeth, among others, because we don’t have time due to excessive use of these platforms.
This continuous urge to stay online more often than not brings consequences that we barely notice, such as:
-Excessive use of these platforms can be a gateway to depression and anger. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram make it easy to compare our lives with others by granting access to our daily lives. This continuous comparison is not only stressful but also dangerous because it brings feelings like envy and sadness to us.
-Another consequence that social media has on the general public is its negative influence on mental health; studies show that increased involvement in social networks is associated with symptoms of anxiety.
These consequences may seem harmless for adults at first; however, the same effects cause teenagers who are more sensitive than ever to suffer from this kind of addiction. The mental state of teenagers is very fragile, and social media can have three major negative impacts on the life of these young people:
-Social media increases feelings of inadequacy in teens.
This harmful habit, when used excessively, has been linked with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem in adolescents.
-Excessive use of social media makes it difficult to establish real friendships.
Teens are increasingly using these platforms as a replacement for face-to-face interactions, which are known to help us grow socially. These behaviours present in many cases effects like isolation, loneliness and jeopardize students’ performance at school.
-The third consequence that social media brings to teenagers is sleeping disorders.
The use of electronic devices before going to bed, especially smartphones, can interfere with the natural sleep cycles, disrupting our biological clock.
Social Media Abnormal Usage Increases Anxiety And Depression
Studies show that excessive use of these platforms has an influence on mental health, specifically increasing feelings like depression and anxiety in people who are hooked.
This constant need for likes or comments not only makes us feel obligated to be constantly connected but also generates stress when we don’t get what we expect.
This kind of behaviour triggers chemical changes in our brain, which affects serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation.
The impact of social media on mental health has been widely studied, and many types of research have shown the negative effects that this continuous use can bring to our lives, especially to teenagers.
In scientific terms, teenagers are classified as individuals from ages 13 to 18 years old, who usually need a bit more sleep than adults due to their biological clock, a phase in which self-esteem is very fragile and peer influence is excessively stronger. This means that social media addiction can harm this important stage in life, increasing feelings like loneliness, bringing problems with sleeping patterns or disrupting performance at school, among other things.
While the problem remains unsolved for all age groups, it’s crucial we become aware of these consequences so we can act to prevent them. We must encourage our children to use technology in a healthy way, making sure there is a balance between their online and offline lives.
Some studies suggest that getting involved with social media excessively causes more harm than good, especially for teenagers who are already struggling with self-esteem issues due to the constant comparison with “perfect” people on these platforms. It is important we make them aware of this unhealthy behaviour, finding the right time to discuss it without overwhelming them with more information or taking away their digital identities entirely.
The bottom line remains: Social media is neither bad nor good, but the habits you establish while using it is what makes the difference.