Do you use Social Media? Isn’t that an obvious question? Who doesn’t these days? Especially teenagers are too addicted to social media. But do you know social media can have a negative impact on your mental health? This article talks about the negative impact of social media on teenagers’ mental wellness through an advisory released by US secretary general Dr. Vivek Murthy.
Advisory by US
A new 25-page advisory released by US Surgeon on Tuesday mentioned the negative impact of social media on teenagers. He stated in his advisory that there is not much evidence of the positive impact of social media on mental health, but a lot of research determined the negative impact that social media can have on teenagers’ mental health. He also stated that there are a lot of harms and risks associated with social media therefore it is important to make healthy digital media to improve teenager’s mental health and wellness.
Criteria determined by Advisory
Advisory stated that those teenagers who use social media for more than 3 hours face a double risk of developing mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Teenagers are at the crucial stage of brain development and therefore at this stage frequently using social media can impact the mental health and wellness of teenagers.
Advisory stated that 95% of teenagers aged between 13-17 years use social media while more than one-third of them use it “almost constantly”. Also, since the minimum age of using social media is 13 almost 40% of children aged between 8-12 years also use social media.
Adolescence, which ages between 10-19 years is a transition phase in an individual’s life from childhood to becoming an adult. It is a very crucial phase in an individual’s life where an individual experiences a lot of developmental changes. During this stage, an individual’s risk-taking behavior is at its peak and they also undergo changes in well-being, making them vulnerable to mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
Early adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time for brain development because this is the time when identities and a feeling of self-worth are developing.
Negative Impact of social media on brain development
The amygdala, which is crucial for emotional learning and behavior, and the prefrontal cortex, which is crucial for impulse control, emotional regulation, and moderating social behavior, may both undergo distinct changes as a result of frequent social media use, according to the study. It may also become more sensitive to social rewards and punishments. As a result, teens may be more sensitive emotionally to the communicative and interactive aspects of social media.
Another harmful impact of social media on mental health
Other negative impacts which can occur as a result of social media on the mental health of the individual are:
- Sleep Disturbances: The analysis cited a number of possible negative impacts of social media, including the link between social media use and poor sleep. Inadequate sleep can affect adolescent brains’ neurological development.
- Depression Symptoms: Social media exposure can also lead to depressive symptoms as more negative information you will be exposed to more negative thoughts you will encounter.
- Suicidal Tendencies: Depressive symptoms can also trigger suicidal thoughts and actions affecting the life of the individual and their loved ones.
We should take measures
With over a third of youngsters saying they use screens till after midnight for which Dr. Murthy asks the government to enact new legislation and calls on technology businesses and governments to solve the escalating mental health issue.