How Social Media Affects Teens

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How Social Media Affects Teens

Social media is the ideal platform for them to meet new friends with the pressure that face-to-face encounters bring/ Photo By georgerudy via 123RF

 

Is your teen addicted to social media?

Teen social media addiction is a behavioral disorder that distracts them from what they should do every day.

Teens are usually busy with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and the likes. Your teenager may be fun-loving and outgoing, but have you have noticed that they are always on their computer typing away? If your child is spending more time on social media sites and less time with real people, it is possible that they are also addicted to social media. 

 

What Makes Teenagers Addicted to Social Media

There are a lot of reasons why teenagers can be addicted to social media. One reason is curiosity. Sometimes a child can also be feeling anxious and depressed and the online world brings them to another place where their worries and anxiety are all forgotten. The next time they feel that way, they will go online to forget their feelings. This precedent may make the teenager soon addicted to social media. 

Shyness and difficulty connecting with friends in real life can be another reason why a teenager resorts to social media. Social media is the ideal platform for them to meet new friends with the pressure that face-to-face encounters bring. They can be a confident person on social media and a shy person when in front of others. 

Another contributing factor that may lead to a teenager's addiction to social media is the feeling that they are disconnected from their family and friends, and social media platforms can make them feel accepted. 

 

How to Tell if Your Child is Addicted to Social Media

Loses interest in other activities
Teens normally have a very active lifestyle. They are involved in school, sports, and other activities. If you notice that your teenager has started to lose interest in his usual activities and is escaping daily tasks, check their social media activity. If you see them making time for social media interactions, it is possible that they can be developing an addiction. It is important that parents are able to identify how their child is behaving and spending their time.

Checks phone every time
Teenagers who are hooked on social media will reach for their phone every chance they get. They are consumed with how many likes or reactions their photo has received or if their comment on different social media platforms was well-received, liked, shared, or re-tweeted.  If your teenager is having a hard time getting out of bed because they keep on checking their different social media platforms, it can be a sign of social media addiction.

Checks social media obsessively

You can determine a person's social media habits by the frequency that they visit the platforms. If your teenager is checking their social media accounts all throughout the day, they may be developing an addiction to it. 

Primary Contact Method
If social media is the primary way your teen's friends contact them, this can be an indication of social media addiction.

Constant Sharing 
If your teens cannot function without posting their activities on social media, they can be struggling with social media addiction. Teens who are hooked to social media like to "check-in" to every location they go and post photos of them "at the moment." Parents must have access to their child's social media accounts.

 

Distraction at Home and School

How are the grades of your teenagers at school? Have they maintained them or have they become worse? If you suspect that the behavior may have been caused by social media, it is time to intervene. The internet and smartphones have taken over social interactions. Kids check their phones often and they get excited with every buzz of their smartphones.  Getting together means looking for Wi-Fi somewhere. The whole essence of personal bonding is totally lost. 

Teenagers who are hooked on social media will reach for their phone every chance they get/ Photo By Fabio Formaggio via 123RF

 

Social Media and Depression

It has been a growing concern that too much social media can lead to depression and suicide among teenagers and young adults. According to San Diego State University Psychology Professor Jean Twenge, Ph.D., prolonged exposure can have both physical and social effects. Teenagers spend less time sleeping, more time online, and less time meeting friends in person. 

 

What Should Parents Do?

Your child may be addicted to various social media platforms, video games, and many more. It is important to be observant so that the sooner you take action, the better. Talk to your child and tell them about the worries you have regarding their online activity. There are other things that teenagers are not fit to read on the internet. Set limits on their screen time and internet time and always know what they are doing. If your teenager seems fatigued from lack of sleep due to online gaming, texting, or other online activities, it is high time to make sure they are limited with their use of the internet. It is definitely for their own good. 

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