Now, in a teenager’s life social media is ubiquitous; a constant harassment on their lives, with messages and pictures bringing them to a state of tears for pointless, meaningless junk.
Why endure the trauma of social media? The most received response is ‘I can communicate with my friends.’ Really? Is that enough of a reason?
Why take the risk of talking to random people who you have never met? Why talk and send pictures to these people? Would you go up to a random stranger on the street and invite them to the park, at 9pm, alone, under the tall tree, just you two, alone? No. Of course not – but, offer teens the opportunity on a social media platform where they are also alone and with a stranger, and suddenly their opinions change.
Due to social media, 2.1 million suffer from internet and social media addictions; 71% of people sleep with, or next to, their mobile phone (affecting sleep patterns due to blue light); 10% of teens check their phones more than 10 times per night. With these shocking statistics, why do people endure social media? Teens have got it into their heads that social media is essential, but is it?
Over 3 billion people own social media, and there are 7.6 billion people worldwide… this is an outrageous (and ever-increasing) figure that shows what a plague social media is: nearly half of the world has been reeled in by social media. Another shocking figure is that we are spending an average of two hours, every day, sharing, liking, tweeting and updating our social media accounts.
Another factor that has not halted social media’s progress is that it is relatively new and not enough research has been conducted about the effects of social media addiction on young minds. Additionally, the research that has so far been conducted is mainly about Facebook which, as you’ll be aware, most teens don’t go near!
Stress is also a major issue with social media; many people suffer from social media anxiety disorder which is a mental health condition. Many who suffer from this disorder get nervous or stressed when they are not able to check their notifications every five minutes, and just being away from their social media account for a few minutes can cause severe anxiety.
Some symptoms of social media anxiety disorder include:
- interrupting conversations to check your social media accounts
- lying to others about how much time you spend on social media
- withdrawal from friends and family
- loss of interest in other activities
- having your phone with you 24 hours-a-day to check your social media
Researchers have also found that using social media causes more than just anxiety; it has been found that using too much internet can cause depression, ADHD, and loneliness. Lots of this is to do with how you perceive others looking at you and how you compare your life with others online; this can lead to feelings of jealousy, depression, and, both shockingly and sadly, even suicidal thoughts. Why? Because you feel that you cannot ever be as good as the photoshopped, edited, perfected image of an idol in front of you.
Overall, social media is a continuous harassment on your life and, in the long run, it can cause depression and anxiety.
So, what’s the point?