Most adolescents and young people use the social networks. 45% of them state that they are connected to the Internet almost constantly, and another 44% state that they are connected at least several times a day, so they Many wonder if the use of social networks can be detrimental to mental health.
And it is that, adolescence is a time in which the connections with the social environment is increasingly important and the great social applications such as Facebook, Twitter, instagram or TikTok offer opportunities for this. They can help young people form friendships, keep in touch with their friends, and gain social support.
However, they can also make some people feel worse. Almost 25% of the teenagers believes that social networks have a mostly negative effect on their mental health.
Many studies have found a strong relationship between time spent on social media, as well as the number of social media platforms used, and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Like any other technological platform, social networks have advantages and disadvantages. And when it comes to the effects of social networks on adolescents, things do not change and also We found important pros and cons to consider.
On the plus side, platforms like TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat can be lifelines for teens who feel isolated or marginalized, especially LGBTQ teens. In addition, social networks help adolescents to feel more connected and not so alone in certain cases.
To this we must add that these applications are already adding new features to their Applications with the aim of reducing criticism due to adolescents spending too much time on social networks and how this affects their mental health.
For example, Instagram has announced new measures to alleviate these effects with the new Silent Mode (Quiet Mode), the “Protection against nudity” function, limiting the targeting of ads or restricting adolescents’ access to adult content.
Now, the impact of social networks on young people it can also be very detrimental to mental health. Specific, social networks and adolescent depression are closely related. In addition, the excessive use of these applications exposes them to cyberbullying, body image problems and addiction to technology.
And while most parents think they know what their kids are posting on social media, according to a Pew Research survey, A survey of adolescents revealed that 70% of them hide their behavior on the Internet from their parents.
It really is not that it is something negative, but the problem comes when they suffer serious problems due to social networks and their parents are not aware of it.
In a 2018 study, teens ages 14 to 17 who used social media seven hours a day were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with depression, treated by a mental health professional, or taken medication for a problem psychological in the last year.
Howeverresponsible use of social media can increase opportunities for connection and communication, increase self-esteem, promote health and access relevant information on various topics.
43% said that using social media makes them feel better when they are depressed, stressed or anxious. Among LGBTQ youth, 52% said that social media helps them feel better when experiencing these very complicated emotions. As we can see, the extremes are very marked and honestly little can be done to avoid it.
Here perhaps the weight of responsibility for the use of social networks should first fall on how large companies like Meta develop their applications and the security measures they establish to avoid these negative cases and, second, on sexual, digital and that young people receive today.
The advantages are very clear and it is not feasible to separate a teenager from his foray into the digital world and social networks, but its drawbacks are quite dangerous and this is where we should focus.