February 11, 2016
Social media has indeed changed the world. Out of the 7.2 billion people on the globe, more than three billion have direct access to the Internet out of which 2.1 billion have active social media accounts. As shocking as it sounds, it’s indeed a wakeup call for us. With a majority of the active users being teenagers and young people, I am restricting myself to the effect of social media on teens and young people under the age of 30. Where is it leading us? Is it a bane or a boon? Here are some effects of social media on the life of an average teen:
The Unknown Danger of Addiction
Nobody steps into something with an intention of getting addicted. Whether it’s smoking or drinking; social media or cyber gaming, teens get in with an idea of ‘trying something new.’ But unfortunately, most of them end up getting caught by these chains. Studies show that most of the people addicted to social media don’t even know that they are addicted. Most people join social media saying, “I’ll use maybe once in a while.” Then the frequency of usage reduces from ‘once a week’ to ‘once a day’ to ‘once an hour’ and so on. Before long, they have fallen into the trap of social media addiction.
Affects the Thought Line
As the days go by, social media affects the thought line. They start thinking about, “what facebook status shall I upload today?” “Which picture will be suitable for my next display picture?” and start pondering on such thoughts all the time. These thoughts cause them to lose focus on their studies, social life and other responsibilities. It seems like their focus is more on how to increase the number of ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ than on how to increase their academic performance.
Creates an Unwanted Pressure
Thinking on these matters all the time creates an unwanted pressure that leads to stress, anxiety. “What will my friends think?” “How do I respond to that comment?” and also dealing with bullying are some really undesirable effects of such forums.
A statistic shows that 45 percent of them feel worried, anxious and uncomfortable if they are not able to access these portals. Their dependency on these portals increases more and more as the days go by.
TIME Flies Away Forever
Most young people hook into these portals as a source of relaxation after a hectic and tiresome day at work, school or college. But, what they don’t realize is the amount of time that flies unaccountably every day, not to forget the fact that time once gone is lost forever. Some of them spend more than five hours on social media forums on a daily basis which leaves no room for their personal, social and family responsibilities and growth.
SLEEP Pattern Affected
A study states that 54 percent of them check into these portals while in bed. They just go online with an intention of replying to messages from friends, checking latest trends on these sites and to know what their near ones are up to. But, what starts small amplifies to a great extent as they end up staying online till late at night to even up to the wee hours of the next day! This affects their sleeping pattern and hence can lead to a wide range of complications in the long run. They end up sleeping for little more than four hours whereas the minimum amount of sleep required for them on a daily basis is at least seven to eight hours.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
Staying up late at night can also foster unhealthy eating habits which also leads to various medical complications. Recently there’s been a great increase in the number of people below the age of 25 affected by health conditions like stroke, cardiac arrests, diabetes and high blood pressure to name a few.
Obesity and its Effects
Obesity is the most devastating effect of social media. Either because of the unhealthy eating habits or because of being in the same position for hours together instead of doing something active, obesity is finding its way into more teens’ lives. This not only affects their physical health but also the mental health as teens are led into self pity and depression because of their size and weight.
These points throw some light on the negative effects of social media on teens. If they learn to keep it under control and use it wisely, it wouldn\’t be a problem.
With writing being his cup of tea, John Giftah has taken to writing various articles that range from social media to self help and counseling. You can connect with him at https://www.facebook.com/john.giftah