Have you ever thought about how often you check social networks? Is it a few times a week? Once a day? Or more?
Many teenagers use social media nowadays. This can be unhealthy for so many reasons that we don’t even take into consideration because of how engrossed we are with these sites.
Having such a large number of young people using social media is beneficial in some ways. Social media can be used and accessed globally, allowing the youth to create friends all over the world. However, this can also have serious drawbacks. Things that people post online every day aren’t always the sweetest, most positive or most appropriate. Anyone can post anything, and that leaves young people very vulnerable to being exposed to things that they shouldn’t be.
For example, if someone decided to post a video containing inappropriate and rude language, teenagers could be influenced into using the same language. Once someone posts on social media, it may stay there forever, and anyone can see it.
Endless scrolling and scrolling and scrolling…
When students get home from school, many open their social media apps and start scrolling.
Pic: Unsplash Creative Commons /Rawpixel
Social media is so addictive because it gives us a sense of social validation. An Instagram ‘like’ or a Twitter ‘favourite’ is a social signal that gives us a happy feeling that once we feel, we want to keep feeling over and over again. When someone likes what we post or say, it gives us that sensation that instantly makes us want to continue posting. As a result, we’re continually opening our social media platforms, scrolling down our feed waiting for another like and before we realise, an hour has gone by! This is unhealthy because instead of doing something constructive and educational, we find ourselves scrolling down these nicotine-like addictive social media sites.
One of the many things social media can be used for is product advertising. Companies use social media to advertise because of the vast number of people that use it. However, brands such as Victoria Secret sometimes use controversial and provocative images when doing so. Images of unrealistically slim models make teenagers compare themselves. They wonder if they’re good enough and if their bodies are acceptable to society.
A significant reason why social media is so unhealthy is because of its potential to impact on our mental health. Over the last few years, the number of people reported to have mental illness have increased significantly. Three hundred million people around the world have depression, according to the World Health Organization.
Social media can also have physical dangers. If someone is addicted to social media, while driving they could open up their phone and begin to casually scroll down their feed. This can make driving extremely dangerous and can cause accidents on the road.
To conclude, social media can be so unhealthy because of how it affects us in our everyday lives, because of how addicted we are, and because of how much is exposed to us online.
The irony is, anyone who reads this will probably open a social media platform and scroll down their feed, just like what we talked about in this article.
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