As the world is technically evolving, people find it hard to imagine their lives without smartphones and social media. Be it teenagers, adults, or senior citizens, everyone is indulged in such platforms these days. Just like a coin has two sides, similarly the internet has it too.
On one hand, where the usage of it seems like a waste of time, on the other hand, it can prove to be a good companion for users. For example, it can help in completing simple to complex tasks, such as getting your Paper done, education, research, and much more.
Thus, in this written piece, we will scrutinize the impact of online media, especially on students, and how it is affecting their mental well-being. So, let’s dive in!
Impact of Social Media: Positive and Negative
To deeply understand, if social media is bad or good for your child, it is important to know that online forums is a collective term that is used for websites and programs. It connects people across the globe and lets them interact via diversified mediums.
While Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., are popularly-known channels for socializing, some lesser-known platforms are also available on the internet. It won’t be fair to call it entirely good or bad, but we can determine their positive and negative effects on students and come to a conclusion.
Let’s take a look at its two sides:
Positive Impact on Students
- Socializing Got Easier: Regardless of distance and other communication barriers, these networking levels serve as a medium to bridge the gap between people. It helps them to make social connections and get open to the world.
It is beneficial for students who have social anxiety. As digital interactions are less demanding, require no to very little emotions.
- Less Stress, More Happiness: Studies have shown that the use of these platforms releases a hormone called “oxytocin” in our body, which reduces stress and makes users happy.
There are times when we see likes and positive comments on our photos or videos, and it makes us feel good.
- Access to Education: Networking platforms are indeed a great medium to get knowledge. Educational videos, blogs, discussion forums, etc., are a great source of education. Students can get help from them to solve their academic problems in various ways.
- Find Your True Self: Not every kid is a future doctor, engineer, or teacher. Some have talents and skills beyond these fields. Social sites can act as a useful medium to showcase their creative side to the world. Be it photography, singing, dancing, and so on.
Negative Impact on Students
(This graph shows the most popular social networks worldwide as of October 2023, ranked by the number of monthly active users, in millions).
- FOMO and Addiction: One of the greatest risks to kids is social media addiction, and now there’s another hazard of FOMO (fear of missing out) that has been there for a few years. But how are these two related?
According to research, it is found that kids who use these forums and see other people’s updates about having fun in groups or going out, generally develop a feeling of FOMO, and it eventually makes them addicted to the internet.
This feeling triggers anxiety and makes them pick up their phones every two minutes to see what others are doing. This can be harmful in so many ways, as students start to get dissatisfied with their lives.
- Cyberbullying: In the past recent years, cyberbullying has become nearly common on the web, which has contributed to several numbers of suicides among teenagers.
Cyberbullying is when someone harasses others or spreads false information about them on digital platforms. The effects of it can be destructive. The one being bullied can experience negative emotions of anger, scared, helplessness, humiliation, or frustration.
This directly affects a kid’s psychological, physical, mental, and emotional health. They can develop anxiety or go into depression.
- Compromised Safety: Before exposing your children to the internet world, it is significant to teach them about the risks of it. As minors, they usually don’t recognize the predators and are at higher risk of getting harmed. Scammers can easily collect personal information to abuse or cheat them.
Teach the kids to never reveal their data on any platform or connect with unknown people.
- A Huge Distraction: Social media platforms are specifically designed to be addictive. The notifications, likes, comments, direct messages, etc., are tempting manoeuvres to keep users engaged.
Revise the Use of Social Media to Improve Mental Health
Not to cut down the complete usage of social sites from your kid’s life. But, you can modify the utilization to improve their mental wellness, as it has some positive impacts as well. What you can do is,
- Keep Track of Time: Set a timer for your children to use the internet. This will also help them coordinate time to do other useful activities such as studying, playing outside, or exercising.
You can even set goals accordingly, to reduce the time being consumed on the web by calculating the time spent by the children each day.
- Teach Them About the Virtual and Reality World: It is essential to teach teenagers about that thin line that makes the virtual and real world apart. Educate them about the scams and fraud online and that all that glitters is not gold.
- Disable Notifications: One of the major reasons why we get distracted from the tasks we are doing. The constant clicking in our mind to read that one notification causes a loss of control on focusing. Try to disable notifications one by one for each application and you’ll see the difference.
Do You Know?
Over 4.74 billion people across the globe use social media.
If utilized correctly, social media can benefit kids in certain ways. However, being used in the wrong ways can turn out to be a disaster that can affect their mental and emotional well-being gravely. Learn How To Stay Healthy While Working from home and stay healthy and fit. And, also explore the top 5 simple Habits for Happiness and well-being.