This is a sad one. Social media sites that were intended to bring friends and family closer together although they may be miles apart is actually leading teenagers to feel more lonely than ever.
In a recent article written by Honey Berk, teens are more and more likely to be addicted to social media sites such as facebook and twitter. They can’t seem to help themselves to stay off the computer while neglecting their homework, sleep and physical activity. The lack of self regulation of these social networking sites is partially due to peer pressure and immaturity.
The fact that teenagers are feeling isolated is based on a report by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Viewing a constant stream on Facebook that includes happy, boasting status updates and photos of your peers having a great time can make kids feel worse about themselves”. This feeling can be just as impacting as offline depression, resulting in isolation. Often, when teens feel isolated they turn to risky online “help” sites, which may encourage substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or self destructive or aggressive behaviors- research says.
While many parents make light of the heavy use of social media, it is important to be aware these sites have created a phenomena that researchers do not know what to expect. The research says that social media use is now one of the most common activities of children and adolescents. This is shocking considering Facebook was created less than 10 years ago.
The moral of the story is please monitor your children’s social media usage. We all want children to be up to date with the times and always knowledgable about the big world around us, however we should remember the impact that it makes in large dosages.