As one of the most well-known psychologists in the UK, she joined Internet Matters as an ambassador and stands ready to help parents keep their children safe online.
Social media can be a positive tool to help children develop and grow, but it can also affect the emotional and mental health of young people. dr. Linda offers advice to help parents encourage children to understand and manage the risks.
The power of social media
Social media has drastically changed the way we communicate and there are many benefits to it. We have access to unlimited information, we can connect with people from all over the world almost instantly via SuperViral Au and we can share with other things that are important to us.
Social media is also a powerful tool for motivating people to action and making social changes. It provides a platform for young people’s voices to be heard so that they have a say on issues that matter to them. The online world has the potential to help young people explore new concepts, manage risk and build resilience.
However, because social media has evolved so rapidly and has a deep impact on social fiber and interpersonal relationships, it is important to examine its potential effects on the emotional and mental health of young people.
What does the research say about social media and mental health?
In recent years, psychologists have begun to look at the effects of social media on mental well-being and a consistent finding from much of this research is that the heavy use of social media is associated with poorer mental health.
A recent University of Pittsburgh survey of young adults suggested that heavy social media users were three times more likely to be depressed than casual users. A Canadian study from the Center for Addictions and Mental Health His surveyed data from more than 10,000 adolescents found that young people who use social media for more than two hours a day were significantly more likely to rate their mental health as “fair” or “poor” compared to casual users.
An overview of the research generally points to the 3 most important factors when it comes to why the overuse of social media can negatively affect the mental health of young people:
1. Influence on sleep
Heavy use can have a negative effect on physical well-being, which in turn can affect mental health. This is especially relevant when it comes to sleep disorders. Several studies have linked sleep difficulties to time screening.
Whether it’s the blue light from screens affecting sleep quality and quantity, or the behavioral disturbances that cause young people to wake up to check their phones, impaired sleep is an important issue when it comes to mental health. Sleep is critical to the developing brain of adolescents, and sleep deprivation has been linked to low mood and depression.
2. Use as a life comparison tool
While social media was initially conceived as a means of connecting with others, it is now also being used as a means of comparison. It has become a barometer of how we measure up to others and this is a particular problem for young people who are socialized through the school system to ‘rank’ themselves against their peers.
As a result, many of the longitudinal studies that have been conducted in this area suggest that we are increasingly engaged in ‘passive use’ of social media – this is where we look at other people’s photos and lives and compare them to those of us, which is bad for our mental health.
The nature of social media is such that most people present the highlights of their lives more regularly than the boring stuff, so these highlights seem to be the norm. Indeed, we tend to post when we’re high and surf other people’s pages when we’re low, so the difference between our real lives and the idealized lives we see on screen is further amplified, making us get the feeling that we can’t measure that and that we’re missing out. This can affect mental well-being, making one feel inferior and inadequate.
3. Chase fun on post to boost self-esteem/self-esteem
If I wanted to come up with a “thinking exercise” with low self-esteem, I’d have someone take dozens of photos, edit them for others to evaluate, and if they don’t get enough validation through likes, comments, or reposts, let them start all over again. This heightened self-awareness and impression management inherent in social media engagement is the third area influencing mental health, I believe.
Being too active on social media and worrying about posting photos and status updates regularly has been linked to anxiety, poor body image, and reduced mental health. Constantly seeking approval from others and seeking external validation means that young people do not develop a secure sense of self that does not depend on arbitrary value conditions.
This preoccupation with how other people react to what we post on social media can lead young people to be unsure of their worth. They may worry about how they are perceived, making them more self-critical of both their physical appearance and their life in general. Constantly posting also allows them to receive more negative or mean comments online rather than compliments or compliments. They may be that more at risk for cyberbullying, which in extreme cases has been linked to severe depression and even suicidal behavior.
Talking to kids about the pros and cons of social media
While there are of course many benefits to social media, as parents it is important that we discuss with our children the importance of using it more healthily. We need to talk about the impact of seeking approval from an online world they don’t really know or comparing their lives to the edited versions of the life they see online.
We need to talk about how it can affect sleep and therefore their health, and in doing so we can help them make more informed choices about when to ‘switch off’ at night. Ultimately, we need to remind them that social media isn’t the only way to be social and encourage more face-to-face interaction and connections, reminding them to be wary that online engagement gets in the way of good mental health and well-being. state.