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Social Media Websites and Teen Mental Health
Transcript of Social Media Websites and Teen Mental Health
What are social media websites?
Why do teens use the websites?
A source of communication and interaction with their fellow classmates, teammates, friends, family etc.
Allows them to see and compare lifestyles with other individuals around them
Provides them with information on the latest gossip, drama, news, and updates
Lets the individual create an identity and profile online where they can expand their chances of meeting new people and build relationships outside their close social group
Allows them to easily find other individuals with similar interests, hobbies, talents and so on
Why are teens at risk?
Connections to the Course
Privilege and Disadvantage - Teens with little to no access to technology or social media have little risk of being judged by their peers online but are automatically outcasted by the online world.
How do social media websites impact teenagers with depression?
Websites constructed to allow for communication, interaction, new relationships, etc.
Many let you post statuses, pictures, videos, links, and many other ideas and memories you wish to share
Some allow for only pictures to be posted, no words, or the other way around
People of all ages from all around the world are interacting and engaging with the websites
Growing activity due to the growing technology industry
Most have very little restrictions on what you can post, say, comment or see
Both internet addicts and abstainers are at risk of developing mental illness. Addicts become dependent of the sites and abstainers become alienated from their social groups and society
Over use of social media websites can result in both physical and mental illnesses
Teens often feel as though their peers live better, more exciting lives than them due to all the pictures, statuses and posts based on friends, partying, and social activities
Not all teenagers understand other teenagers' interests, hobbies, lifestyles, choices, struggles and problems. This quite often results in conflict which many find easier to resolve online through comments, posts, and blackmailing.
It provides teenagers dealing with depression and self-harm with new methods of self-harm or ideas for unhealthy habits that will potentially worsen their mental health
Groups have begun to form that praise disorders such as anorexia (proana), bulimia (promia), or pro self harm. They provide rules, tips, guides and new ways to force yourself into a disorder. Teens involved in this would post pictures or statuses showing their self-harm, talking in detail about suicide and plans, and other topics that would worsen one's depression symptoms and expose them to unhealthy lifestyles
When teens begin adding friends online whom they don't actually know, the sites becomes less about communication and more about surveillance, judging and comparative self evaluation.
Physical Health Effects
Mental Health Effects
Sleep deprivation- Studies show how many teens choose to use their social media devices late at night, often forcing them to stay up later than normal. This constant habit can result in creating a bad sleeping pattern and loss of sleep.
Inactivity- Most technology needs power and internet connection which is usually found indoors, (Although now it is possible to be away from an internet source and still be able to surf the web.) which forces many people to be immobile in a couch or chair. This lack of activity can lead to higher risks 0f obesity and diabetes.
Unconscious Eating- Your risk of obesity can rise when unconscious eating becomes a habit while using technology. Teens will sit for hours and snack while scrolling their news feed, many don't realize they are full and continue eating, unaware their body cannot handle the amount of food consumed.
Addiction- Social Media websites has become a large piece of our lives. When we loose the ability to access them such as loosing our phone or internet, we feel lost, outcasted and like we're missing something huge. This constant attachment and need for the websites resembles addictions such as gambling, drugs, or alcohol
Low self-esteem- Teens who choose to express negative emotion through the internet are often liked less than those expressing positive emotions. This is because many individuals prefer to see posts that will boost their feelings rather then lower them. In the end, teens who post a large amount of negative posts are at risk of lowering their self-esteem
Tumblr is a main source to find depressing blogs. Many pages have been dedicated to black and white posts glamourizing depression, self harm, eating disorders and suicide. They create an idea of ''beautiful suffering'' which makes mental illnesses and disorders seem beautiful.
Alienation - Teens who decide not to take part in social media websites risk missing information and local news due to the fact that most information is shared over the internet. They miss out on whats happening, whats in, who said what and who did what.
Conformity - Online we see many trends that become popular amongst teens within hours that are unhealthy but become popular due to the media (#cutforbeiber, like for a rate etc.). Teens who choose to conform to the trend and repost it are only building the trend.
Technology as a force of social change - The growth of the technology industry is the main reason for the growth in social media websites. Without the new abilities we are capable of with technology, we would have a hard time using social media as much and as often as we do.
Loss of authentic self - We see a loss of ones authentic self when they change factors about themselves to better fit the wants of their peers. The individual posts pictures for evaluation, waits for comments and opinions, and then attempts to ''meet the requirements'' to be liked by their peers.
Robert Mertons Strain Theory - We see Merton's theory applied through social media when we see teenagers attempting to define themselves through their profiles. In order to fit the image they want, many teens post or say things that they otherwise wouldn't. They become deviant to their morals and beliefs in order to live up to fantasy expectations.
Docs warn about teens and 'Facebook depression'
'' With in-your-face friends' tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they didn't measure up. It can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria or other real-life encounters that can make kids feel down.''
''Facebook is where all the teens are hanging out now. It's their corner store,"
"A lot of what's happening is actually very healthy, but it can go too far"
"Unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem."
Can be healthy
Good in moderation
Good if used for the right reasons
Intimidating -> can be the force to conform
Make ones life seem boring and uneventful
Make them feel as though they are always uninvited, unwanted, or missing out
Popular amongst our generation
Hard to escape it/ignore it
Must be careful of what you post/say
Seeing everyone else' fun lives
Facebook and social media websites can be healthy when...
...used in moderation. Not logging in every hour, but not secluding yourself from the online world
...used for the right reasons. If used for interaction and socialization, they will benefit you. When used for everyday pointless updating, the websites will begin to have a negative effect on you
...used at the right time. Good times to use social media websites would be during transportation (trains,cars,buses,etc.), spare time or other moments when you need to keep busy. Bad times would be late at night, while out using face to face interaction, during class or work and so on.