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It is already a known fact that teenagers spend a surplus amount of time on social media. Almost 92% of teenagers go on social media every day. The question arises on why teenagers check social media so often. The main reasons they use social media would be texting their friends or keeping up with the online trends or content. Also social media is a huge platform on which people can meet new people and gain new friends.
Social media cannot be considered as negative or positive factor in our lives as there are both plus points and minus points.
Some of these positive factors are:
But the risky side effects are:
Teenagers are very concerned about their image on social media. The amount of likes they receive on a particular picture they posted will impact them in huge ways. A study conducted by UCLA showed that teenagers reacted to a huge number of likes the same way they would when they win a prize. The part of their brain that is linked to visual attention gets activated when they see other people’s’ approval. The sector of our brains that contribute to reward circuitry is particularly more activated during adolescence. The sight of approval gives them a sense of accomplishment. This approval keeps them hooked to social media, craving the rewards.
If looking at a huge number of likes makes them content, seeing a low number may cause serious problems in the molding of their personality and character. They might change their whole charisma and nature to please utter strangers on the internet. They will take any negative comments etc. to heart and go into a state of anxiety and stress.
Teenagers who spend and excessive amount of time on social media end up having a lot of negative effects. These children were a lot more distressed then someone who checked their social media moderately and retard the growth of the teenager’s developing brain. Excessive use rewires the teen’s brain to seek out immediate gratification.
Teens go on social media to find escape or connections. Teenagers, especially girls, can carefully choose and nit-pick a specific photo with the perfect lighting and the perfect filter to post on their social media account, for all their friends and peers to judge. They attention received on the post will boost their morale and will leave them wanting more. This seems harmless but there might be more psychologically related deeply rooted problems at hand.
Teenagers will do anything to gain likes and followers on social media. Teenagers are deemed vain; they would do anything for attention. There are many stories of teenage girls posting scandalous photos of themselves. The girls mostly have low self-esteem and think the posting ‘revealing’ photos of themselves is going to get them more likes and attention. But they do not see the other more pressing consequences that will rise from posting these. They will be judged and disrespected in rude, abusive and vulgar ways. They could be bullied for this and also harassed.
But girls still post these as they receive a lot of likes and gratification for these kinds of photos. Low self-esteem is a very pressing issue among teenagers and is not addressed with enough importance. It cause anxiety and loneliness and increases the likelihood of depression. The cause of this is the environment around the person. Even social media contributes to the problem. When females look at pictures of actresses and models showing off unrealistic body standards, they think lesser of themselves.
Other than the teenagers themselves, their close ones are also affected. Their parents would be very worried for their child. Girls who have put up provocative photos will experience both the positive and also the negative remarks. The negative remarks will surely affect the psychology of the girl’s brain which will surely show in her daily life. Parents would have to deal with their child’s issues which would cause them stress and worry them.
When pictures like this are put up, the girl is usually objectified and shamed by society. People will see her as incompetent and senseless, putting her body up for everyone to see.
In the end it’s the girl’s choice whether or not to post such photos. They do not know how it will affect them before they do it, and should be told about the consequences of their actions. Teenagers often do not think before doing something, and suffer after. They should be educated.
Teenagers who search for acceptance on social media are more likely to succumb to peer pressure in a bigger magnitude than a teen who accepts themselves as they are on social media. They struggle to impress everyone will take over their mind as they obsessively look after their accounts. Its normal human nature to compare ourselves to others and tweak our persona to satisfy others opinions on ourselves. But during teenage years, this feeling is magnified and stress and pressure is induced on the child. The feeling of being accepted by everyone will drive teenagers to madness. This is the time they are supposed to cultivate their identities, and they will be influenced by a million factors.
Peer pressure leads to stress and anxiety. The teen will not realise what’s happening to them but their friends and family will surely notice the changes. Mood swings and depression are consequences of peer pressure. In the crucial period when teenagers are supposed to be developing their character and personality, peer pressure confuses them. The need to please in teenagers who seek validation is amplified, as the way that people see them is of high importance to them.
Teenagers should be taught to express themselves in any which way they want. Other people’s opinions should not reflect on theirs.
In conclusion, the need for validation on social media does have adverse effects on a teenager. They fall into a mental spiral, with anxiety and stress. The low self-esteem that drives them to seek attention on social media platforms is dangerous, causing them to doubt themselves in various manners. High anxiety causes restlessness, nervousness and distracts teenagers. If this syndrome is ignored catastrophe can ensue. Teenagers who crave such attention should be spoken too, asked why they need it.
This research has provided a lot of information for me and I have learned a lot about the ill effects of social media on teenagers. Being a teenager myself, I have learned I do not have to change myself for others but develop myself in a way in which I prosper. The magnitude of teenagers with various mental issues due to their attention seeking is dangerously high, and reading about their plight really brought insight to my mind.
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