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Effect of social media on youth

Effect of social media on youth

By Sabeen Sheikh Abid

Technology advancements have been a blessing to human beings, and today computers, and mobile devices have become a part of our daily lives. The internet is also a part of the technology that many of us have come to appreciate. Basically, currently, it is the internet that makes the world go round. Social media for instance, is a part of the internet that has created a greater avenue for people to interact across the globe. Nowadays, social media negative effects are not unknown. Sadly, our teenagers and adolescents are have taken on the use of social media to extents that if not monitored or restricted, it can have some very severe effects on their life’s overall well-being.

It is important to know how does social media affect youth. The effects of social media on youth can be dangerous. We should acknowledge the fact that teenagers and adolescents are extremely vulnerable to certain growth and development aspects of life. And therefore, the effects that social media usage has on these children should be importance to each knowing adult. In as much as social media is known to a great social network tool, its evil in potential harm posed by social media usage. These negative impacts of social media, if not recognized on time and handle, can be risky to the health and social well-being of our youth. Research suggests that young people who are heavy users of social media spending more than two hours per day on social networking sites, are more likely to report poor mental health including psychological distress symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Using social media become a risk to our youth more than most adults realize. The negative impact of social media on youth are as following.

Face book depression

Face book depression is an emotional disturbance associated with social media usage .When a teenager is made to feel inferior ,The need to stand out ,fit in, or be accepted by their face book friends is what drives users towards this form of emotional disturbance. They often fall into a depression which is commonly referred to as a face book depression.


Those who spend more time on social media become victim of depression and anxiety because it adversely affects the thoughts processes and mood.


Smart phones are connecting people. if you are always sharing location then social media friends know where you are. Young ones update their status, share what they are watching, listening to, reading and where they check-ins. This habit not only becomes an addiction but also make them hyperactive.


Sexting can be defined as sending, receiving or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images via cell Phone, Computer, or other digital devices.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

Cyberbullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. And online harassment is often used interchangeably with the term cyberbullying, it is different entity.

Sleep deprivation

Social media is among the leading causes of sleep deprivation in young people today. Young people can stay active on social for longer durations, especially during sleep time or just before sleep, then there is a high possibility of their sleep being disturbed.

Lower self esteem

Mostly young girls start comparing themselves with celebrities after spending time on social media and want to look slim, pretty. This imitation can negatively affect their self-respect and dignity.

Social isolation

There is a statistical relationship between the use of social media and social isolation. When teenagers see the pictures or video of a party where they were not invited, it can bring anxiety. It is known as “fear of missing out”. It can become a cause to feel more isolated.

Impractical expectation

You would not be surprised if I say Facebook, Instagram and snapchat are the reason for impractical expectations and friendships. You can not cross-check the authenticity of other’s activities.

Poor concentration

Different tasks, such as schoolwork, classwork, or homework requires more concentration to deal with something important, but now teenagers have a habit of simultaneously using social media.

Decreased Activity

Heavy use of social media does not spend enough time on activities that increase health problems.

Internet Addiction

Uncontrolled social media usage among young ones can lead to internet addiction, which can affect their school performance, mental health, and even personal development.

Suicide and Self -harm content

Social media is not only addictive but can also lead to suicide and self-harm. Teenagers on the internet can do anything to receive attention. Also, suicide is contagious and can spread through social networks. When young ones notice the suicide attempts or death of a friend, it stimulates that person’s risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Privacy Concerns and The Digital footprint

The main risk to youth online today is risk from each other, risk of improper use of technology, lack of privacy, sharing too much information, or posting false information about themselves or others. These types of behaviour put their privacy at risk. When internet users visit various websites, they can leave behind evidence of which sites they have visited. This collective, ongoing record of one’s web activity is called “digital footprint”

Influence of Advertisement on buying

Many social media sites display multiple advertisements such a banner ads, behaviour ads and demographic -based ads targeted  people on the basis of a specific factor such as age, gender, education, marital status that influence not only the buying tendencies of young people but also their views of what is normal. It is particularly important for parents to be aware of the behavioural ads because they are common on social media and operate by gathering information on the person ‘s profile to influence purchasing decision.

The best parents can do to minimize the risk associated with technology is to crucial their own consumption first. It is up to parents to set a good example of what healthy computer usage look like. Establish technology -free zones in the house and technology -free hours when no one uses the phones. Parents should give full attention to children and should also avoid using phones in the car because that is an important time to talk. Try to encourage and involves teenagers in activities to keep them busy. To educate and talking to teenagers about negative impacts of social media can help to reduce the negative affect on youth mental health and well -being. Establish an age limit for your child to start using social media is also especially important.




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