Following the recent Facebook whistleblower crisis in 2021, it was discovered that Facebook had conducted extensive study into the detrimental effects that social media sites like Instagram had on young people’s mental health. The leaked papers emphasized the detrimental effects that photo-sharing applications like Instagram may have on young people’s self-esteem and body image. in recent times Congress said that digital behemoths like Facebook prioritized profits before adolescent and kid safety.
Parents are more worried than ever about social media sites, the effects of screen time, and the effects of the internet on their children and teenagers as a result of recent research demonstrating how social media severely impacts children’s mental health, body image, and social skills. This generation of kids is the first to have seen social media and the internet as a regular part of daily life from an early age. Many parents are worried about the long-term effects of internet use on younger children and members of Generation Z.
Social media did not exist until the early 2000s, not even for those of us who had access to the internet at the end of our formative years and into our teens. These websites were mostly used as additional platform for communication and amusement even throughout the MySpace era. Today, however, most youngsters’ lives are significantly impacted by internet contacts and networks. Being parents makes it challenging to know how to support our children since we did not deal with social media, cellphones, or cyberbullying in real life as children.
Young people (and adults) continued to spend more time on social media platforms as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, and researchers have found a link between increased screen time and poor self-esteem. Keeping up with the Joneses is a continual onslaught in our social media feed. And although it might be challenging for adults to maintain optimism when it looks like everyone on our friend list is living a beautiful life, youngsters and teenagers find it more harder to distinguish between a social media persona and the actual world.
Social networking does provide some advantages. It may be a useful tool for outreach, community building, and social engagement, for instance, by enabling us to connect with and see one another, if not face-to-face, then at least via a screen. However, its usage has to be moderated and supervised in a healthy manner.
We’ve broken down five distinct ways social media impacts our children’s health and strategies to assist in this post because as parents, it may be difficult to know where to turn for support.