Technology has made a lot of things much easier for us. But even with all the benefits that come with technology, there has risen a social concern that is threatening to bring a whole generation down. This is social media addiction among teens. This article explores this issue in-depth, read on.
What is social media addiction?
Social media addiction refers to the compulsive use of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just like any other form of addiction, the individual is driven to a point where they cannot do without the addictive substance, in this case, social media.
According to a 2017 research report posted on Science Direct, internet and social media addiction affect an estimated 210 million people worldwide. Of this demographic, teens that are addicted to social media and spend no less than five hours a day on the sites, are two times more likely to show depressive symptoms. From this, it is clear that social media addiction among teens could be one of the main ingredients of increased cases of depression among teens.
Young females are most affected
Another study, also conducted in 2017, reveals that young females are more addicted to social media than males are. The study reveals that 58% more females could not do without social media for a day compared to male teens of the same age bracket. Additionally, the girls that are addicted to social media exhibit narcissistic social behaviour and very low self-esteem. These young females are more likely to fall victim to cyberbullying and sex trafficking incidents from preying individuals that take advantage of their prolonged daily use of social media.
Social media addiction contributes to sleep deprivation among teens
A September 2017 issue of The Atlantic Magazine released findings that stated, 55% more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 compared to 1991. This sleep deprivation can be linked to prolonged exposure to bright lit screens on their mobile devices as they use social media during the day. The lack of sleep has also contributed to reduced quality of life and is also a major contributing factor to the depressed majority of teens.
In a report that was released at the HMC Annual Conference in 2016, a research conducted among 2750 pupils aged 11-18 found that at least 45% of them checked their mobile device after going to bed. 42% of these admit to keeping their phone beside them when going to sleep and another 25% stay on their phone for at least an hour more after going to bed. Institutions such as igniteteentreatment.com can help rehabilitate these teens.
The American Psychiatric Association recommends that the use of social media be tamed among teens. This, it claims, helps in reducing cases of anxiety that are noted in teens whenever their mobile devices are taken away from them. As a parent or guardian in charge of the care of a young person, it is important that you have control over the teenager’s use of his or her mobile device and more so to access social media. Learn how to use social media wisely.
However, the best remedy to this would be leading by example. Teenagers are known to follow what they observe their seniors are doing. If you can stay off social media or use it moderately, you have a better chance of inculcating the same in your teen.