Social media addiction has become a burning issue in today’s times and the impact that it is making on the youth’s mental health is concerning. It is a common sight to see many teenagers and young adults hooked on to their phones, plugged away into their virtual world.
A report by Pew Research Center shows that 50% percent teens have admitted to being addicted to their mobile device, 92% of teens go online daily, and 24% say they go online “almost constantly;” 71% of teens use social media (81% older teens, 68% teens ages between 13 and 14). These numbers are concerning.
The amount of time teenagers spend on social media browsing through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube can take a toll on their mental health. Looking at the pages of different celebrities, influencers, and peers of their age group posting about having the “oh so glamorous life”, wearing branded clothes, expensive shoes and watches or going for holidays can cause a sense of FOMO among the young adults and they might end up feeling left out. As teenagers, one often can’t differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. Everything that we see online, we instinctively believe it to be true. You need to remind yourself “all that glitters is not gold.”
Among the many harms caused by social media usage, teenagers are increasingly suffering from a lack of self-esteem. Bringing forth the idea of a perfect body on online sites can trigger a lot of insecurities. And in order to meet those unreal beauty standards, the young minds could fall into the trap of following diet plans suggested by random strangers online who are not even certified to offer advice. Youngsters are even prone to starving themselves to extreme amounts just to follow an online fad thereby experiencing the negative consequences of social media.
Extreme social media usage can be proven to be a black hole if not kept in check. Another report by Pew Research Centre shows that 13% of teenagers aged between 12-17 years reported to have faced depression and 32% reported feeling anxiety. Social media is one of the major reasons behind the rise of mental health issues among adolescents.
But all is not lost yet! It’s important for us to be aware that social media is a delusional world. It is a great place to have fun or learn new hacks and tricks, but don’t go there seeking validations.
Here are a few tips to avoid social media addiction:
- Take a break from the apps that are impacting your mental health by making you feel inadequate in any way.
- Set a screen time for all the apps where you feel you are spending most of your time. Set a usage time for each app.
- Don’t tell yourself 10 more minutes before you keep your phone away prior to your bedtime. Instead, keep your phone aside at least an hour before you go to sleep.
- Find alternate activities in place of spending hours on social media platforms. Take up productive hobbies or activities that you enjoy.
- Switch off your notifications for a few hours every day or switch off the internet to avoid distractions.
- Choose a day when you won’t be using any social media sites and practice social media detox.
Conquering social media addiction can be quite a task especially when technology and mobile phones have taken over our everyday lives. But it is not as hard as it seems. And we might be able to help you with it.
So where do we come into the picture? Project LaunchPad provides the foundation for students to rely upon, as we understand the struggles that young minds go through and how the lack of appropriate guidance can be a barrier in the way of their growth.
“I have been the poster child – coming second in my school for CBSE Board Exams, being the Head Girl, scoring the best internships and best career experiences early on. However, I knew the process was not easy in any shape or form. There were a lot of sleepless nights and moments of self-doubt that lingered through these stages. While we celebrate the end result with much aplomb, we need to redirect conversation on the behind-the-scenes of what it takes to get there,” says Nishigandha Kelkar, founding member of Project LaunchPad.
We at Project LaunchPad are having conversations on topics that impact you the most but are talked about the least. In fact, just recently, we had an Instagram Live session with a renowned psychologist to talk about how the youth can deal with social media addiction. Connect with us on Instagram @project_launchpad to get your daily dose of content that will help you achieve your dreams while taking care of your mental, physical and financial well-being. Email us at [email protected] to book a free consultation now.