Social Media’s Impact on Teenage Behaviour and Life

Social Media’s Impact

Social media is reducing social barriers. It connects people on the strength of human values, not identities.

  • Narendra Modi

Today, social media has given us new ways of communication. Significantly impacting people’s daily lives. Social media has brought people together who share common interests and broadened the scope of ideas worldwide. The use of social media within every age group has taken a rise during the pandemic. Millennials are the most active social media users, but GenZ (those in their teenage years now) are making the content circulating over the internet.

Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are platforms where the content is mainly served. Expressing self to the world is hard for a few personalities, and it might be a lifesaver for some teenagers who feel alone or marginalized, especially LGBTQ teens. Social media also helped youth feel more connected and less lonely during the pandemic.

When it comes to experimenting with technology, particularly social media, teenage behaviour alters even more. Social media addiction has grown to the point that it is subtly infusing an inflexion into our conduct.

However, the impact of social media might be harmful to teenagers’ mental health. Social media and teen despair are completely intertwined. Excessive usage of social media platforms exposes kids to cyberbullying, body image concerns, computer addiction, and less time spent engaging in healthy, real-world activities.

Let’s have a look on the impact that social media do on teenage behavioural changes and the side effects of social media.

Surge Use of Social Media in Pandemic

The pandemic has modified users’ concerns about self-image on social media, with 42% stating there is less pressure to portray themselves in an exaggerated manner.

More men (46%) than women (31%) feel they are more open about personal issues on social media.

The most popular types of posts are still escapism and humour.

Friends and family (74 %identified this as the most crucial aspect of social media) and local communities provide inspiration (52 %). Self-isolating users can join online communities to share advice and knowledge. Will this be the case once the pandemic is over?

Consumers’ worries about digital well-being have decreased as they grow more concerned about their own and others’ well-being. People are not as concerned about screen time as a year ago, especially those who spend the most time online.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, 14% of internet users expressed concern about an increase in online time. 34 % of those surveyed were more concerned about their mental health. The internet is seen as less of an intrusion into daily teenage life and more of a portal to it.

Most users do not plan to continue this indefinitely, but 25% of heavy users say they will keep up their screen time until the coronavirus has passed and how the impact of social media will change. It is unclear whether this is a present mood or an intention that they will follow through.

Impacts of Social Media

The impact of social media on youth extends to a crucial aspect of adolescent development, the building of one’s own distinct identity. As a result, social media gives teenagers a place to practise skills relevant to identity development. Self-presentation and self-disclosure—sharing their thoughts, beliefs, and preferences—are examples of these.

Teens’ favourite social media platforms include YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. While the study has shown that social media can have a harmful impact on kids, it also has a lot of beneficial advantages.

Teenagers are no strangers to peer pressure. On the other hand, social media exacerbates this stress in two ways. To begin with, kids who use social media are more likely to say anything unpleasant or hurtful. Second, teens are exposed to and receive feedback from a far larger number of people than they are exposed to on a daily basis.

According to the Pew poll, 31% of teenagers believe social media has a ‘largely beneficial’ impact on their lives, while only 24% believe it has a “mainly negative” one. The remaining 45 % claimed social media had no positive or negative effect.

Social media use has undeniably good impacts, including a sense of social connection and belonging, personal contentment and self-esteem, emotional expression and regulation, and identity development.

More than half of the kids stated that they provided and received emotional assistance over the internet. This assistance is especially crucial for kids who are suffering from an illness, negotiating their LGBTQ+ identity, or dealing with other isolated experiences. In the support search, acceptance from kids’ families or parents is mandatory more than the outside world.

Parents Crucial Contribution

Setting limits can help your kid learn to use social media in a constructive way while avoiding negative consequences. Limiting computer time provides a healthy alternative to today’s tech-obsessed culture, deepens the parent-child link, and makes children feel safer.

According to research, parental monitoring has been linked to less hazardous behaviours such as social media addiction and online bullying.

If parents are concerned about their children’s social media usage, they should talk to them about how it makes them feel. Parents must also model these recommended behaviours in their own social media usage. Consult a mental health expert and your guardians if you’re concerned about your teen’s social media usage.

Digital Well-being for Teenagers

Smartphones and other internet-connected devices are common, and children can interact with the digital world from an early age. Ninety-eight per cent of children under the age of eight have access to a gadget at home, and fifty per cent of teenagers claim they are addicted to their phones.

Families appear to have an infinite supply of media and entertainment options, but finding high-quality, age-appropriate programming remains a challenge. Educators face new problems with great learning tools (and powerful diversions) in the classroom. And technology businesses acquire a variety of data from us (and our children), often without disclosing how that data will be used.

So here are a few aspects to use for digital well-being:

Digital Detox – Taking a break from technology saves time and improves one’s mental health.

Information Consumption & Dealing – It is hard to avoid consuming information in this digitalized world; often, a person must have limitation over it.

Consent Management – Kids’ consent is required to manage mutual understanding between parents and children.

Managing Social Media – Ensuring social media handles have less harmful content.

Digital Parenting – Educating children on ideas such as conflict resolution, self-awareness, self-management, and making responsible decisions.

What We Learn

According to multiple research projects, teenagers who use social media extensively do so because they are bored. Extensive use of anything can be harmful and directly affects mental health. It’s not harmful to use social media in moderation. It can help raise a person’s mood by increasing serotonin and other feel-good chemicals in the brain.

The majority of people take a photo of themselves and publish it on social media, and they feel good about themselves when others like and comment on their posts. When this becomes a habit, it becomes a problem. Many people feel motivated to post images of themselves numerous times per day and check their accounts frequently to see how many likes they have earned.

Moderation in the use of social media is necessary at all stages of life, not just for teenagers. Social life is the relationship between you, the people you relate to, and the community. The way we live, work, and interact has altered due to technological advancements.

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