Social Media Addiction among Adolescents

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The use of social media in the modern world makes it possible to keep in touch with family or friends and meet new people. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and Instagram have become the most empowering social networking that has consumed many different users all around the world. Social media is one of the top genres of websites and applications to communicate and share information to the pubic.

There are some positive impacts of social media which include being able to keep in touch with family members and friends, but there are some negative side effects which include spending too much time online and not being able to communicate with others face-to-face. Although there are many different reasons and questions that surrounds this topic, parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers are allowing adolescents to have too much time being spent on social media.

Most people believe that social networking has more positive effects than negative ones, but overusing social media can actually be harmful to an adolescent’s future and everyday life. Social media is something most children, adolescents, and even adults are using on a daily basis, and it can easily get out of hand. Having adolescents on social media for long periods of time is not only disappointing but also damaging in many ways. Benjamin Hollis did a study on social media and its effects on academic performance in school.

According to Hollis, “Higher levels of mind wandering predicted lower levels of academic performance. Lower levels of working memory capacity predicted higher levels of mind wandering and lower levels of academic performance”. Using social media can have some adverse effects such as causing cyberbullying, psychological problems, mental health problems, increased obesity, trouble in schools, and sleep disorders, and it could have an effect on adolescents’ social skills. Instead of talking to someone face-to-face and hanging out, adolescents prefer just texting or going on a social networks to socialize with others.

A large number adolescents who have an addiction to social networking sites have been proven to have different psychological problems that include anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADHD or loneliness. Mari Swingle wrote “I-Minds,” in which she states,

100 percent, of participants in my study showed a lincal EEG signature associated with anxiety/agitation, insomnia, and addiction; 89 percent showed a form of ADHD; 66 percent showed a signature associated with CD; 40 percent showed imbalanced frontal lobes associated with emotional dysregulation; and 27 percent showed a signature of deregulation in the SMR. (28)

This research indicates those who are addicted social media could have different health conditions or may have withdrawal symptoms such as having anxiety, depression or loneliness.

Another problem with using social media is the risk of meeting a predator online without realizing it. Social media has helped people from all around the world to connect with each other by using online dating; people can meet from different countries, generations or social circles. Social media makes it easier to find someone who meets the criteria, but at the same time, many users do not think about the risks that include being sexually assaulted, raped or harmed.

According to Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden, “60% of teens had received an instant message or email from a stranger and 50% of teens who were using online communication tools said they had exchanged emails or instant messages with someone they had never met in person.” With this, we can see how social media could easily be misused and become a common problem. If adolescents are receiving messages from people that are not known and reply to them, the chances of meeting that person is more likely.

In addition, Annette Van Den Heuvel states, “1796 adolescents participated in two measurements of the Dutch Monitor Internet and Youth. The results show that about 17% of the adolescents had real life encounters with online contacts and that about 30% of the parents of these youngsters was not aware about it.” However, social media is viewed to be a positive invention because it has made it easier for people to communicate with family and friends, while these networks have continued to also allow adolescents to meet people that are not known and parents are not aware of.

Although social media could easily be abused and misused, banning social media is not the solution. Social media platforms do offer some good services if adolescents are using these platforms appropriately. Some people often blame technology or the creators of these platforms, but there are a few others that would contribute to this problem. The main problem is the user, parents, grandparents or caregivers and teachers. Adolescents should be under parental supervision when accessing these platforms and controlling how much time is being spent on these sites and applications.

Teachers should also be aware of what’s going on inside the classrooms and making sure adolescents are not using phones in school. Although parental controls may help adolescents spend less time on social media, social media still has inappropriate language, videos and pictures that adolescents can easily see. With this, social media should have better monitoring on these sites to help prevent these pictures, videos and language being seen online.

In addition, Jasmine Fardouly did a study that examined the amount of time spent on social media by preadolescents. During this study, the preadolescent was under parental control while using these social media platforms. Fardouly measures the time being spent and if having parental controls were still associated with having mental health problems.

According to Fardouly, “Preadolescents, whose parents reported greater control over their child’s time on social media, reported better mental health. This relationship was mediated by preadolescents spending less time browsing and making fewer appearance comparisons on social media.”. With this being true, having parental controls could help solve the amount of time being spent on social media.

Although social media has numerous advantages, it also could be highly addictive and have a great impact on one’s life. Having an addiction to different social media platforms can be common in today’s society and can cause a rise in many different issue that include your health, academic performance and the risk of meeting a predator online. Having parental controls and social media monitoring could help prevent social media addiction, predators and heath issues. Overall having parental controls and social media monitoring would be a good thing for everyone.

Cite this paper

Social Media Addiction among Adolescents. (2021, Feb 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/social-media-addiction-among-adolescents/

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