Social media has quickly become an all-consuming part of adolescent’s lives. While it can seem like a fun, harmless place to share photos and interact with others, there is a growing concern of its impacts. New studies are highlighting the negative effects of social media associated with mental health, vulnerability, sleep, and suicide.
Negative Effects of Social Media
There are many ways in which social media can result in negative effects on adolescents including the following:
Scrolling through social media for a few minutes can quickly turn into hours. Normal tasks for teenagers typically require some form of concentration such as homework. The constant disruption of social media is actually making attention issues worse and reducing learning and performance.
Statistics show that over half of adolescents scroll through their phones before going to sleep. As a result, these teens are averaging an hour less of sleep at night compared to their peers who are not getting on their phones before bed. It’s not simply the light from electronic devices that is making it difficult for teens to fall asleep, but also the stress and anxiety of the content on social media.
It is so easy to live in a world of comparison on social media. This is especially true for teen girls who are constantly comparing themselves to other girls, models, or photoshopped images. This comparison can leave girls feeling less confident and negatively impact their self-esteem.
Interacting face-to-face is a lot different than interacting behind the screen. Recent studies have found a correlation between excessive social media use and perceived social isolation. Teens use social media believing it’s what connects them to others, when in fact it takes them out of the present moment and their life. This, in turn, makes them feel more isolated.
Identifying the Problem
No matter how it may seem, technology is not the problem. We are. The interactivity that draws adolescents in is what creates the addictive behaviors towards social media and produces negative effects. As a parent it is important that you identify when your teen is becoming too engulfed in their devices and address the problem immediately before more negative consequences occur.
Trails Carolina can help
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program that helps teens ages 10-17 who are struggling with behavioral and emotional issues. This program uses adventure-based therapy to help students gain a new sense of self-awareness, confidence, and independence. The skills they learn throughout the wilderness program offer long-term benefits towards their ability to successfully self-navigate in the real world. By removing teens from their fast-paced environment into a safe, nurturing, and peaceful environment, they are able to focus on improving and reflecting upon their behavior. Trails Carolina gives students the tools they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 800-975-7303