How social media affects the lives of young people

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When social media blew up a decade ago, it was hard for researchers to predict the effects it set on the younger generation. Currently, there are a few studies done on how social media affects the millennials, and the results are worrisome.

But is social media as bad as people say? Or can teens and young adults benefit from it?

This article covers how social media can positively and negatively affect the young people of our era.

The Positives

Improved Productivity

Now, I’m not here to demonize social media, because I really do think it has plenty of benefits. Social media has changed our habits, lifestyle, and how we do work. If done right, social media can improve productivity in the office.

Social media can help in collaborations between teams and departments. Traditionally, you would need to arrange meetings in designated meeting rooms, with a chance that the person you really need to voice your ideas to ends up absent.

Apps such as slack allow teams to share ideas, files, and give out tasks that everyone that’s involved stays updated. With set hashtags, everyone in the discussion will be notified when something important pops up!

Staying Updated with Things of Interest

In the past, if you were inclined to a specific niche, say, technology, you would have to subscribe to magazines every month or watch tv regularly to keep yourself updated about movements that are happening in the industry.

Now, almost every major company, including online gambling platforms like @casumocasino have their own Twitter accounts. Staying updated with your interests is only a tap away.

Friends who share the have the same interests are more likely to share news and updates regarding your favourite topics, and sometimes you can get quite overwhelmed with the abundance of information.

The Negatives

Body-Image Issues

Body-image issues aren’t new, and the finger is always pointed at the media for this. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the beauty and diet industry was flooded with skinnier models, making skinny the standard for beauty.

In the early 90s, a study showed that the number-one wish for girls ages 11-17 was to lose weight and keep it off.

Social media may exacerbate this negative impact. Young girls and boys not only have to observe famous people physically objectified on Instagram and Facebook, but they too experience it on a regular basis by comments from their peers on a selfie they uploaded an hour ago.

If a teen or young adult has low self-esteem to begin with and comments such as “You’ve gained weight!” will put a damper in their mood and may resort to unhealthy ways to deal with it.

Lack of Sleep, Anxiety, and Depression

Let’s face it, social media is extremely addictive. In fact, the Royal Society for Public Health in UK reported that social media is even more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes. The average person spends two hours on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. This doesn’t include the less-talked about platforms like LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Heavy social media usage is harmful to your mental health! Social media often sets far-fetched and unrealistic expectations in young people, thinking that whatever they see on the screen is how things really went down! Ever seen someone flaunt hundred-dollar bills and thinking “damn, I wish I was that successful.”? Well, that might not have been his money, Steve.

Social media addiction has been linked with anxiety and depression. Seeing how “successful” and “happy” everyone else is and comparing your situation with theirs can put you through a phase of negative thinking. It’s even worse if one decides to bottle those feelings in and shut themselves completely off society.

Poor quality sleep has also been linked with using social media before bed. I’m sure we’re all guilty of this at one point. The Royal Society of Public Health found that one in five young people wake up in the middle of the night just to check on their social media notifications, leading to tiredness at school!

Take-Away Message

Whether you’re into it or against it, social media will always be a part of our lives. However, it’s up to you decide and act on what you think brings value to you or the opposite!

Image Credit

Image by Erik Lucatero via Pixabay

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