Reasons Why Social Media Is Harmful

Reasons Why Social Media Is Harmful

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Reasons Why Social Media Is Harmful

The harmful effects of social media are no longer obscure topics—it’s becoming common knowledge across the globe that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Twitter have widely contributed to various mental health issues people face today. In fact, many people are now looking for ways to quit social media but still struggle to achieve that.

This is because social media is addictive. And the worst thing about it is that there's a high demand and competition for new social media platforms.

Big Tech companies are constantly looking for ideas to generate the next addictive social media platform. On the other hand, developers are constantly updating various features on social media in an attempt to keep these platforms relevant and appealing to the masses. Needless to say that technological innovation is a good thing. However, when such inventions and platforms begin to affect the consumer, it becomes increasingly important to discuss these dangers.

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  • What are Some Mind Blowing Statistics About Social Media Usage and Mental Health

    We can sit here all day and claim that social media is harmful. However, it may be impossible to prove this claim without the facts. For this reason, we've compiled some of the most concerning statistics about the harmful effects of social media.

    Higher Risk of Mental Health Problems

    A study has revealed that kids who spend more than 3 hours on social media have a higher risk of developing mental health problems. To put things into perspective, internet users all over the world spend an average of 2.45 hours a day on social media, according to a new report. This means that every single day, your child is 30 minutes away from developing mental health problems if they use social media the average number of hours as other users across the world.

    Another study found that 13% of kids aged between 12 and 17 suffered from depression, and at least 32% of the population suffered from anxiety caused by heavy social media usage.

    Increased Risk of Cyberbullying

    Cyberbullying has become so common lately that it's even been normalized. Gone are the days when people used social media to interact with friends and family and establish genuine relationships in the virtual world.

    Nowadays, cyberbullying is the new norm. A recent survey revealed that 42% of cyberbullying incidents occur on Instagram, one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

    Higher Risk of Suicide

    Multiple studies have linked social media with increased suicide rates, especially among individuals between 13 and 34.

    A 10-year study was conducted to analyze the risk of suicide among teenagers. The study found that the risk of suicide among individuals in that particular age group was directly proportional to their social media usage.

    In other words, the study discovered that the more people used social media, the higher their chances of committing suicide. The research also concluded that the risk of suicide was higher among females than males.

    The Risk of Addiction

    What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For most people, checking social media is the first thing they do when they wake up. If you or your loved one is constantly on social media, it could be a sign of addiction.

    Social media addiction can affect your productivity at work and even harm the people around you. For example, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents across the United States. But did you know that most of these accidents occur because some drivers are always browsing social media while driving? This is a sign of social media addiction, which is harmful to your mental health and overall well-being.

    Addiction to social media can also affect your concentration. When your mind is always on social media, chances are you'll have a shorter attention span when it comes to things that matter.

    Have you ever wondered why most people tend to fall asleep just a few hours into studying but can go hours browsing social media late into the night? This is because their brains are conditioned to zone out of things that matter and focus primarily on social media.

    Lower Self-Esteem

    This is probably the most common dangerous effect of social media addiction. Frequent use of social media will make you jealous of other people's lives and achievements. In addition, you'll begin to doubt yourself and undervalue your own achievements.

    Here's how it happens:

    Let's say you're a teenager. You've probably come across many teenagers making good money on social media. The worst part is that almost everyone on social media wants to motivate and inspire.

    This could only mean one thing; the need for inspiration and motivation wouldn't exist had there been no market for such content. In other words, the current generation is depressed and uninspired more than ever. Addiction to social media is partly to blame for the feeling of hopelessness.

    As people begin to doubt their own progress and undervalue their achievements, they begin looking for validation on social media. But social media isn't usually the best place to seek validation or comfort.

    More Cases of Defamation

    Social media has replaced traditional newspapers. Most people believe the content they read on social media more than in traditional newspapers and magazines. As a result of the increasing popularity of social media and the influence these platforms have in spreading information, the problem of defamation isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

    Defamation is when one party intentionally spreads false or misleading information about another party for the purposes of achieving a particular result. Since defamation on social media mostly occurs in writing, it is legally considered libel.

    In other words, libel is a term used to describe intentionally publishing false information about another party to damage their reputation.

    Libel, especially on social media, can be dangerous. Many innocent individuals have lost the trust of their loved ones due to these malicious actions. On the other hand, many business owners and professionals have suffered serious consequences of libel.

  • What Can Parents Do to Protect Their Kids From the Harmful Effects of Social Media?

    If you are a parent, that means you've been around long enough to understand the harmful effects of social media. For this reason, it's important to provide your kids with a sense of guidance and direction regarding social media usage. Here are some quick tips to guide you.

    Set Rules and Enforce Them

    As kids grow older, chances are they'll discover social media and develop an interest in these applications. As a parent, it's always advisable to plan ahead for moments like this. Talk to your child about social media and inform them about the good and the bad.

    Most importantly, when they're old enough to use social media, make sure you set rules they need to follow. For example, many kids go to bed with their phones, browsing social media late into the night. This not only puts their own lives at risk depending on their online activities but also ruins their quality of life due to a lack of enough sleep.

    As a parent, consider setting the rules for social media usage and enforcing them. For example, as discussed earlier, most people spend around 2.5 hours on social media every day. A separate study shows that people who use social media for two to three hours a day are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems or even committing suicide.

    Talk to your loved one about social media usage and its harmful effects. Once they understand that you mean the best for them, you can then restrict their social media usage to under 2.5 hours a day.

    Teach Your Kids the Importance of Privacy

    It's quite difficult to keep certain things private, especially on social media these days. As a parent, talk to your kids about what they can and cannot post on social media. Remind them that not everyone they see on their “friends” list is an actual friend.

    Social media is full of all kinds of people, both good and bad. You'll find pedophiles, rapists, serial killers, etc., on these platforms. On the other hand, you'll also find people with good hearts who genuinely love making friends and sharing good energy with the people on their network. Regardless, it's better to be safe than sorry. Knowing what should remain private and what deserves the attention of your social media friends or followers is a great place to start.

    Lead by Example

    Leading by example is the best way to show your kids that you actually care about their well-being. In other words, your kids will not understand that social media is harmful to them if you're constantly on social media.

    Leading by example doesn't necessarily mean that you should quit social media. Instead, it means doing certain things that show that you're using social media responsibly. For example, consider introducing a “no phone policy” when it's time to hang out as a family.

    The same applies when it's time for bed. If you spend hours browsing social media during bedtime, you'll likely have a rough time trying to discourage your kids from using their phones in bed.

    Pay More Attention

    One of the reasons kids spend a lot of time on social media is when they lack attention from the real world. As a parent, it may not be realistic to spend the entire day with your family. You probably have a busy work schedule and other commitments to attend to on a daily basis.

    However, it's always advisable to spare some time to interact with your kids. Learn more about their interests and how you can help them grow to realize their full potential in life.

    It's also important to keep in mind that many people, both kids and adults, equate happiness to how their friends treat them on social media. For example, studies show that most people feel happier about themselves and their lives in general if they receive likes and positive comments on social media.

    As a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to teach your kids that they can still experience happiness in life without seeking validation on social media. To prove this, consider introducing fun activities for you and the family and enforcing a 'no phone policy' the entire time.

    Watch Out for the Signs

    One of the best ways to protect your kids as a parent is by watching out for possible signs of social media addiction or harm caused by excessive use of these platforms. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

    • Lower self-esteem
    • Unexplainable eating disorders
    • Mental health problems
    • Suicidal threats or thoughts
  • What to Do If You or Your Child Has Been Harmed by Social Media?

    Now that you understand the harmful effects of social media, it is important to understand your rights if you're a victim of harassment, bullying, defamation, or any other harmful effect of social media.

    The most important thing to do is to seek help. For example, if you've been constantly bullied on social media, chances are you've experienced a lot of stress. This feeling could affect your life, including your performance at work, school, etc.

    Speak with a therapist or counselor about it. Attend support groups to seek more emotional support. Remember to document the entire incident, including how you feel.

    Lastly and most importantly, consider hiring an experienced attorney to fight for you. At Morgan and Morgan, we've helped our clients receive compensation for the negligent actions of some of the biggest companies in the US, and we might be able to fight for you or your loved one who's been harmed by social media.

    Ready to share your experience and possibly take legal action against the social media platform that harmed your or your loved one? If so, fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.

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