Multitasking has become a common theme in our lives. It's a miracle how we handled it all.
we depend on oursSmartphonesfor work, school, our personal and social life. When was the last time you left the house without your phone and got on with it? The internet has become an important part of our daily life. So social networks.
And it's having an impact on today's teenagers.
use of social networks
Back in 2005, when social media was still in its infancy, just around5 percent of usersin the United States they were involved in social media. In 2019, that number rose to around 70 percent.
- Pew Research Center befragtuse of social networksand popularity among US adults as of early 2019. The survey found that while YouTube and Facebook are the most used adult social platforms;prefer teenagersSnapChat and Instagram whileTick Thank youIt is reportedly the fastest growing social network among younger users.
- The use of social networks is almost ubiquitous among young people today.Reports from the Pew Research Center97 percent of 13 to 17 year olds use at least one of the top 7 online platforms.
- The amount ofTime spent on social websitesit is amazingMessagestates that the average young person aged between 13 and 18 spends around nine hours a day on social networks; Tweens aged 8 to 12 are online about six hours a day.
Like most things, using social media has its positives (the good), its warnings (the bad), and its dangers (the ugly) that lurk and affect the lives of many, especially young people.
Mindcast: Healthy Mind, Healthy Child Podcast
A podcast from the experts at Bradley Hospital, leaders in child mental health care.
listen to podcast
Pros: Why are social networks good?
Social networks and technologies offer us more convenience and connectivity:
- Stay in touch with family and friends around the world via email, SMS, FaceTime, and more.
- quick access to information and research
- Banking and bill payment at our fingertips
- Online Learning, Professional Skills, Content Search (YouTube)
- Participation in civic engagement (fundraising, social awareness, giving voice)
- great marketing tools
- Remote Employment Opportunities
Social media can be a good thing, but if teens ever feel uncomfortable about something they see or read on social media, they need to trust their own feelings and talk to someone: a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult. Bullying, threats, and atrocities on social media are all signs that the person doing these things needs help.
Cons: Why are social networks bad?
With the good comes the bad. For all its benefits, the nature of social media harbors a multitude of potential problems.
- Online vs Reality.Social media itself is not the problem. It's more the way people use it than the actual communication and personal encounters. "Friends" on social media may not actually be friends and may even be strangers.
- Greater use.how much moretime usedon social media can lead to cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression and exposure to age-inappropriate content.
- Social networks are addicting.When playing a game or performing a task, try to do it to the best of your ability. As soon as you do this, your brain gives you a dose of dopamine and other feel-good hormones that make you happy. The same mechanism works when you post an image on Instagram or Facebook. As soon as you see all notifications about likes and positive comments on your screen, you will subconsciously register this as a reward. But that's not all, social networks are full of mood-changing experiences.
- Fear of being left out. FOMOit has become a common theme and often leads to ongoing scrutiny of social networking sites. The idea that you might miss something when you're not online can affect your mental health.
- problems with self-image.Social networking sites provide tools that allow people to get approval for their looks and compare themselves to others. can be assignedBody image concerns. Selfie junkies and people who spend most of their time posting and scrolling are most prone to this. In fact, most college girls who use Facebook at least five times a day probably associate their self-esteem with their looks. This doesn't mean that the main problem is social networks; it only provides a remedy for this, further escalating the problem. It also encourages the same type of behavior in others.
Social Media and Bullying
Unfortunately, everything that technology offers has an ugly side. While bullying is not a new concept, social media and technology have brought itMobbingto a new level. It's becoming a more persistent and pervasive threat: cyberbullying. Rhode Island anti-bullying laws and regulations define bullying and cyberbullying as follows:
"Mobbing"means the use by one or more students of any written, verbal, or electronic expression or physical action or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a student that:
- causes physical or mental harm to the student or damages the student's property
- puts the student in reasonable fear of harm to self or property
- creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student
- violates the student's right to participate in school activities
- significantly disrupts the course of the lesson or the proper running of the school
„Cyber-Mobbing“means bullying through the use of technology or electronic communications, including but not limited to the transmission of any sign, signal, writing, image, sound, data, text message or information of any kind, in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photooptical systems including but not limited to email, internet communications, instant messaging or facsimile communications.
A child is bullied every 7 minutes. Unfortunately, intervention is rare, with an adult intervening only four percent of the time and a partner intervening 11 percent. A staggering 85 percent of bullying cases go untreated.
The following are just a few statistics on how common bullying and cyberbullying have become: LoudStopBullying.org:
- One in four (25 percent) teens experience bullying, while a whopping 43 percent have been bullied online.
- Nine out of ten LGBTQ students have been bullied at school and online. Biracial and multiracial youth are more likely to be bullied than youth who identify with only one race. Obese, gay or disabled children are more likely to be bullied than other children.
- 58 percent haven't told their parents or an adult anything bad or hurtful that happened to them online.
- 5.4 million children stay at home every day because they are afraid of being bullied.
Social media and suicide
Unfortunately, the downsides of social media can impact young minds.Suicideit remains a leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. In most cases, the young die by hanging.
- According to the American Association of Suicideology, the suicide rate among children ages 10 to 14 has increased by more than 50 percent over the past three decades.
- According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide rates among children ages 10 to 14 are very low but are increasing.
What can parents do?
As parents, there is a lot we can do to improve our children's lives online and in real life.
- Try to model the behavior you want.
- Set boundaries properly when giving your child their first phone. Set parental controls on your phone with access to your passwords. Phones need to be charged somewhere other than your bedroom at night and turned off an hour or two before bed.
- Talk to your children about why some things should be kept private.
- Take the time to actively interact face-to-face with your children. This interaction teaches them to follow social cues, both verbally and non-verbally.
- Talk to your kids without looking at your phone.
- Find opportunities to have real conversations outside of lectures.
- Be aware of privacy concerns andCybersecurity issues.
Technology has changed the way we live, work and socialize. But it cannot replace parenthood.
For more parenting tips, seeGrowingsection of ourLife expectancyHealth and Wellness Blog.