Technology has opened countless doors to communication through a myriad of social sites referred to as social media. These various social platforms offer amazing benefits and opportunities for businesses, such as networking, marketing and finding new talent all at the touch of a button. Displaying a product or service using social campaigns can boost your business’s reach and generate qualified leads to increase growth.
Another group of avid social media users includes children, teens and the general public. Thanks to social media, it is easier than ever to find people, connect with them and build and maintain lasting relationships. Although social media is a fun, fast way to share links, photos and ideas, the content is often extremely influential on the lives of its users. The big question we have to ask ourselves is, “What impact is social media having on our children?”
The Link Between Mental Health and Social Media
Social media platforms offer many benefits like a portal to connect with friends, find teammates or classmates, personalize your profile, share thoughts and much more. But with the good comes the bad - it is vital for parents to monitor their children’s social media usage to protect them from online dangers and the unhealthy side effects. Addiction, depression, constant comparison to others, jealousy and cyber-bullying are just a few mental health issues that are linked to social media use.
Adolescents spend hours of their free time on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where they can potentially be exposed to inappropriate content, sexual predators and cyberbullies. Facebook and YouTube are the most widely used sites among Americans of all age groups but children and teens seem to favor SnapChat and Instagram. Studies show that over 78% of adolescents ages eighteen to twenty-four use Snapchat, and 71% of these users visit the platform more than once a day and even within the same hour. The risk is too high not to address this subject with our children early on.
Monitoring Your Mental Health
Doctors advise parents to learn about social sites and how they work in order to be able to encourage their children to use proper healthy behavior, boundaries and security when active on these sites. Doing this will help to avoid the onset of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, as well as to prevent outside threats from online predators and bad influences. Communicating proper Internet etiquette, self-image affirmations and safety precautions with your kids will lower their chances of experiencing mental health issues. Placing a time limit on social media use is also a good idea and can be a way to get your kids up and playing outdoors instead of huddled in their rooms on their smartphones. Whichever way you go about it, just remember the overall importance of talking to your children to ensure wellbeing and clean mental health.
Should you or someone you know be in need of counseling as a result of the impact of social media, contact us today to schedule an appointment.