Social Media Perils -Impact on the youth by Nidhi Singh

Hollywood actress Kate Winslet in her BAFTA winning acceptance speech, cried for help.  “We want our children back” declared the eminent British actress echoing the sentiments of million other parents. Along with recent outbursts by many distinguished personalities all around the world, people are opening up about the dark effects of children being on social media.

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of the lives of teenagers. While it offers numerous benefits, such as connectivity and access to information, it also poses significant perils. As adolescents increasingly spend their time online, it is crucial to understand the potential dangers associated with social media.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment: Teenagers may become victims of relentless bullying, leading to emotional distress, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. It is essential for teenagers to recognize the signs of cyberbullying, seek help from trusted adults, and blocking features to protect themselves.

Unrealistic Body Standards and Low Self-Esteem: social media often presents an idealized version of reality, emphasizing physical appearance and unrealistic body standards. Teenagers, particularly girls, may experience body shaming and feel pressured to conform to these ideals. Encouraging a healthy body image, promoting self-acceptance, and fostering open conversations about the distorted nature of online representations are crucial.

Privacy and Online Predators: Social media platforms require users to share personal information, and teenagers are often unaware of the potential risks associated with this practice. Online predators exploit this information to manipulate vulnerable teenagers. It is imperative for adolescents to understand the importance of privacy settings, avoid sharing sensitive details publicly

Digital Addiction and Time Management: social media can be highly addictive, leading to excessive screen time and negatively impacting teenagers’ academic performance, physical health, and social interactions. The constant need for validation through likes, comments, and followers can create a sense of dependency and anxiety. It is crucial for teenagers to establish healthy boundaries and practice responsible digital citizenship.

Social media undoubtedly offers a multitude of benefits, but it is vital for teenagers to be aware of its perils. By understanding and addressing the risks associated with cyberbullying, body image, privacy, and digital addiction, adolescents can navigate the digital landscape with resilience and caution. Responsible online behavior’s, coupled with guidance from parents will empower teenagers to harness the potential of social media while safeguarding their mental and emotional well-being.

A recent tweet by Anand Mahindra shared a study which stated the age at which a child first owns a smartphone affects their mental well-being in adulthood. A series of correlation graphs showed how the usage of smartphones deteriorated mental health of children as they grow up.

We as parents have to take over, to deal with the crisis, lest it become late. Too many innocent children are losing their way and lives all due to this invisible monster. We must help them by:

  • Establishing clear rules and limits for smartphone usage.
  • Encouraging Offline Activities
  • Creating Gadget-Free Zones
  • Using Parental Control Apps and Features
  • Being a Positive Role Mode and limiting your usage as well.

As the world shrinks globally because of digital invasion, families are growing apart. Children are getting more distant and there remains less physical bond amongst people. Screen times have to be tapered. Make room for conversations, and things will-begin to pick up.

Create a life so interesting , that Social Media no longer is appealing !!