The digital landscape has put increased pressure on teenagers today, and we feel it. There are so many social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, you name it. We all know how addictive social media can be, but did you know how impactful it can be on your mental health? Take a look.
1. Social Media Is Addictive.
People use social media for myriad reasons; however, it usually serves, on some level, the same basic purposes: distraction and boredom relief. “Likes” and comments are positive reinforcement for posting information, making it difficult for a person to stop.
2. We Compare our Lives with Others.
Posts on social media many times present an idealized version of what’s happening, what something looks like, or how things are going. This can lead users to constantly compare themselves to others and think less of their own lives.
3. Anti-Social Behaviour.
Ironically, overuse of social media can refrain you from participating in real world activities. Things like online multiplayer games, micro-blogging and other forms have people missing out on important moments in life.
4. Self-Esteem Issues.
Overindulged in online activities had very low self esteem. They seem to behave counter productively, bombarding their friends with negative tidbits about their lives and making themselves less likeable. Remember that some people exaggerate to attract attention. Do not be deceived by the idealistic impression that you see on other people’s social media profiles.
There is the pressure to make yourself available 24/7, and the resulting anxiety if you do not respond immediately to texts or posts. Teens are so emotionally invested in social media that a fifth of secondary school pupils will wake up at night and log on, just to make sure they don’t miss out.
6. Pressure To Be Perfect.
To look perfect, act perfect, have the perfect body, have the perfect group of friends, the perfect amount of likes on Instagram. Perfect, perfect, perfect. And if you don’t meet these ridiculously high standards, then the self-loathing and bullying begins.
7. Fear Of Missing Out.
If you lose your phone there will be a lingering sense of sadness at the back of your mind that there would be conversations you had missed, messages that had been sent, funny videos shared and night-time chats that you would probably never get to see.
8. Loss of Productivity.
Although social media allows us to stay connected to millions of people 24 hours a day, it also causes constant mental diversion and lowers productivity. The desire to stay in touch and get the latest updates can put a lot of pressure on the brain and make it more difficult to focus on a single task.
9. Reduced Physical Activity.
Spending most of your leisure time on social media can make you become more inactive and susceptible to many health risks. Sitting down for long hours reduces blood flow to the brain. So you need to control your use of social media so you can get regular physical exercise and improve your mental health.
10. Subjection To Cyber-Bullying.
It appears that somewhere along the way, the privileges of social networking have been abused – both in terms of its meaning, as well as its victims. Suddenly choosing the appropriate profile picture became a first world problem whilst others get agonized over which hashtags best summed up their tweets.