Helping A Child Or Teen With Unhealthy Social Media Use
Childhood and the teenage years can be filled with developmental challenges and social pressures. For some kids, social media has a way of exacerbating those problems and fueling anxiety, bullying, depression, and issues with self-esteem. If youre worried about your childs social media use, it can be tempting to simply confiscate their phone or other device. But that can create further problems, separating your child from their friends and the positive aspects of social media. Instead, there are other ways to help your child use Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms in a more responsible way.
Monitor and limit your childs social media use. The more you know about how your child is interacting on social media, the better youll be able to address any problems. Parental control apps can help limit your childs data usage or restrict their phone use to certain times of the day. You can also adjust privacy settings on the different platforms to limit their potential exposure to bullies or predators.
Talk to your child about underlying issues. Problems with social media use can often mask deeper issues. Is your child having problems fitting in at school? Are they suffering from shyness or social anxiety? Are problems at home causing them stress?
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Social Media Use Linked To Depression In Adults
While social media has been widely linked to anxiety and depression in teenagers, new evidence suggests that platforms such as TikTok and Instagram can leave middle-aged adults feeling sad, too.
The research, published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, is based on a series of surveys of 5,395 adults whose average age was 56.
The surveys, conducted from May 2020 through May this year, began as a way for researchers to learn more about how adults were coping throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over time, researchers increasingly became interested in whether social media use might be linked to changes in mental health.
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Is Social Media Causing Depression
Smartphones were commercially available in and around 2007 and in the following years, 92% of the young adults and teens owned a smartphone. And, depressive symptoms are often correlated with the smartphone adoption rate during the period i.e. 2007 to 2015.
A study that was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology concluded that there is, in fact, a link between social media and negative impacts on your well-being. Jordyn Young, the University of Pennsylvania who co-authored the paper stated, “What we found overall is that if you use less social media, you are less depressed and less lonely, meaning that the decreased social media use is what causes that qualitative shift in your well-being.” She also added that “Before this, all we could say was that there is an association between using social media and having poor outcomes with well-being,”
Does Social Media Cause Depression Is It Bad For Your Mental Health
People are increasingly opinionated about the potential problems of social media. Things like cyberbullying, screen addiction, and being exposed to endless filtered images that make it impossible not to make comparisons between yourself and others often make the news.
In July, a big study came out in the uber-prestigious journal JAMA. It was titled Association of Screen Time and Depression in Adolescence. This big headline seemed to confirm what a lot of people have been sayingthat screen time is horrible for young people.
The study followed over 3800 adolescents over four years as part of a drug and alcohol prevention program. Part of what the investigators measured was the teens amount of screen time, including time spent on social media, as well as their levels of depression symptoms. One of their main findings was that higher amounts of social media use were associated with higher levels of depression. That was true both when the researches compared between people and compared each person against their own mental health over time.
Case closed? Not so fast. Before we end the debate once and for all, lets take a closer look at this and other studies. Lets ask ourselves: What exactly is the relationship between social media use and depression? It turns out there are several caveats.
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Northwest Primary Care Supports Your Familys Mental Health
Seek help if you notice any of the signs associated with social media depression or addiction that could increase depression and anxiety in your teenager. If youre concerned or notice any signs common with depression and anxiety due to overuse, dont hesitate to make anappointment at one of our Portland, Oregon clinics to speak with one of our family physicians today.
Social Media And Depression
One of the biggest differences in the lives of current teenagers and young adults, compared to earlier generations, is that they spend much less time connecting with their peers in person and more time connecting electronically, principally through social media.
Some experts see the rise in depression as evidence that the connections social media users form electronically are less emotionally satisfying, leaving them feeling socially isolated.
The less you are connected with human beings in a deep, empathic way, the less youre really getting the benefits of a social interaction, points out Alexandra Hamlet, PsyD, a clinical psychologist. The more superficial it is, the less likely its going to cause you to feel connected, which is something we all need.
Indeed, one exception to the depression correlation is girls who are high users of social media but also keep up a high level of face-to-face social interaction. The Twenge study showed that those girls who interact intensely offline as well as through social media dont show the increase in depressive symptoms that those who interact less in person do.
And there are some teenagers who arent successful in connecting with peers offline, because they are isolated geographically or dont feel accepted in their schools and local communities. For those kids, electronic connection can be lifesaving.
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Social Media Use Linked To Developing Depression Regardless Of Personality
Researchers in public policy and education recently found that young adults who use more social media are significantly more likely to develop depression within six months, regardless of personality type.
Published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, the study, Associations between social media use, personality structure, and development of depression, was co-authored by Renae Merrill, a doctoral student in the Public Policy Program at the University of Arkansas.
Merrill wrote the paper with dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, Brian Primack, and Chunhua Cao, an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Alabama.
Previous research has linked the development of depression with numerous factors, the authors noted. However, the literature has been lacking in studies that focus on how various personality characteristics may interact with social media use and depression. This new study addressed these important research questions, finding strong and linear associations of depression across all personality traits.
The sample of more than 1,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 to 30 was from 2018 data collected by Primack and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh.
Depression has been noted as the leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide. This makes these findings even more pronounced for creating health interventions and prevention efforts.
Social Medias Impact Can Depend On How Teens Use It
Teens already feeling depressed or isolated are more likely to use social media in less-beneficial ways.
They might rely on the internet for all their socialization needs, which can leave them less interested in school or family activities. Whats more, small dips in their accounts views or engagement can damage self-esteem or reinforce negative self-perceptions.
Social media may contribute to depression risk for some teens. It can also worsen existing depression symptoms.
Possible mental health risks of social media include:
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The Negative Consequences Of Social Media
The negative effects of social media are both physical and psychological. Social media users who are chronic users are more likely to report poor mental health. It is very likely that you will become anxious and unhappy if you compare yourself to other people. The recommended amount of time spent on social media per day is approximately half an hour. Screen hiding our faces is a problem because we may become jerks on social media and other websites as a result. Fear of missing out arose in the days following the introduction of social media. Social media sites are extremely difficult to use due to a lack of online authenticity, so its a good idea to conceal your profiles if you do.
That is not going to happen to Instagram influencers or YouTubers who make millions of dollars by engaging in inauthentic behavior. A simple solution to this problem is for everyone to stop lying on social media. Social media use has been linked to sleep problems, according to studies. Social media sites want you to scroll for as long as possible so that they can show you as many advertisements as possible and make more money. You will be overwhelmed by a constant stream of quick videos that bombard you on apps such as TikTok over time. Social media can have a negative impact on your life, so stop using it as soon as you notice it.
Cyberbullies are a potential threat to your privacy. Identity theft is the intentional destruction of your personal information.
Signs That Social Media Is Impacting Your Mental Health
Everyone is different and there is no specific amount of time spent on social media, or the frequency you check for updates, or the number of posts you make that indicates your use is becoming unhealthy. Rather, it has to do with the impact time spent on social media has on your mood and other aspects of your life, along with your motivations for using it.
For example, your social media use may be problematic if it causes you to neglect face-to-face relationships, distracts you from work or school, or leaves you feeling envious, angry, or depressed. Similarly, if youre motivated to use social media just because youre bored or lonely, or want to post something to make others jealous or upset, it may be time to reassess your social media habits.
Indicators that social media may be adversely affecting your mental health include:
Spending more time on social media than with real world friends. Using social media has become a substitute for a lot of your offline social interaction. Even if youre out with friends, you still feel the need to constantly check social media, often driven by feelings that others may be having more fun than you.
Comparing yourself unfavorably with others on social media. You have low self-esteem or negative body image. You may even have patterns of disordered eating.
Experiencing cyberbullying. Or you worry that you have no control over the things people post about you.
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Trying To Solve A Truly Bad Situation
Given Makarin and his coauthors are looking at Facebook in its earliest form, theyve faced questions about the salience of these findings. People wonder how much this tells us about Facebook, or Instagram, right now, Makarin said. And thats a fair criticism but there are a few things in our defense.
Is Social Media Making Us Depressed And Anxious
From social networks like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, right back to MySpace and Bebo in the mid-2000s, social media has forever changed the way we communicate.
With 91% of young people using the internet for social networking and rates of depression and anxiety in young people having risen by more than 70% in the past 25 years, talk of whether theres a link between social media use and depression is becoming more frequent.
Dr Richelle Mayshak from Deakins School of Psychology says there is some evidence that the use of social media promotes an idealised image. Facebook and Instagram may be associated with feelings of inadequacy or reduced self-esteem. These negative feelings are thought to come from a perceived lack of popularity when a post doesnt receive enough likes.
So, is social media to blame for the rise in rates of depression and anxiety in young people?
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Safely Using Social Media
Using social media comes with mental health risks, but that doesnt mean it should be completely avoided. Experts recommend using these networking websites in moderation.
Set a timer when youre on social media or install an app on your phone or computer that tracks how long youve spent on a networking site.
Without these timers or apps, its easy to spend hours on social media before you know it. To limit your time on social media, you can also plan real-world activities that help you focus on your immediate surroundings and circumstances. Read a book, watch a movie, go for a stroll, play a game, bake some bread, or have a phone conversation with a friend. Make the time to enjoy life offline.
Can Social Media Cause Depression
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Many of us are guilty of spending a lot of time on social media.
No matter what platform you prefer to spend your time on, weve all spent more than a few hours endlessly scrolling our feeds.
But after looking at all those vacation photos, party videos and outfits you envy, you might feel a bit down. Perhaps even depressed.
While our social media feeds can undoubtedly create the fear of missing out on something, does social media cause depression?
We go over how social media and depression are connected and answer whether or not social media can cause depression.
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Discussion And Future Directions
The modern pervasiveness of social media use has prompted considerable research effort to understand its psychological repercussions. Much of this work is lamentably correlational, but despite the inability to deduce causality from such data, many researchers have proceeded to point at social media for today’s increased rates of depression while ignoring the reverse possibility that depressiveness may, in fact, explain increased social media use. As we described, longitudinal and experimental methods that allow us to probe temporality and causality reveal not so much that social media triggers depressive symptoms, but more so that initial levels of depression-related symptoms predict prospective social media use, and social media engagement that is already problematic exacerbates depression-related outcomes.
In conclusion, the current paper argued that the reverse causal view that depressiveness drives social media use has been neglected in current research. By emphasizing the need for longitudinal and experimental approaches to ascertain directionality, a better grasp of the dynamics that govern depressive symptoms and maladaptive social media use can be attained.
What Is The Most Negative Effect Of Social Media
Teens who use social media are not only vulnerable to negative influences, such as bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic perspectives of other peoples lives, and peer pressure, but they are also exposed to negative influences outside of the social sphere. Its possible that the risks stem from how much teens spend on social media.
Within the last fifteen years, the growth of social media has been phenomenal. In our digital age, the term trend has evolved into one of the most important forms of digital communication, entertainment, and a way to exchange ideas. Social media has numerous benefits, but it can also result in a number of negative consequences for users. Billions of people in daily life use social media on a daily basis, and the use of social media has grown dramatically in recent years. Facebook, the most popular social media platform, has a usage rate of 69%. Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok were the most popular platforms among users aged 15 to 30. Social media can have a negative impact on your mental health in addition to isolating you, depression, and low self-esteem.
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It Causes Unhealthy Thoughts
When you scroll through the posts of those you are following, you see their world . It can trigger feelings of jealousy and resentment if they have what you want.
Having access to the lives of others on this level pushes us into a trap of judging others and comparing our lives to those we see. You end up in a vicious cycle of negative thinking.
Your Brain On Social Media
Rachel Wu, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, agreed. Social media may be “filling a void, but its not doing a very good job, she said.
Neither Wu nor Prinstein were involved in the new research.
Perlis said his team found the association between social media use and increased symptoms of depression even after accounting for factors such as isolation during the pandemic.
The research also found age differences in how certain platforms impacted mental health. Depressive symptoms were more commonly reported among Facebook users under age 35 than older adults.
The opposite was true for users of Snapchat and TikTok: more depressive symptoms were reported among people over age 35.
The reasons for such findings were unclear. It could be that because Snapchat and TikTok are more visual mediums, perhaps affecting older adults differently.
Or it could suggest that a person is out of sync with his or her peers. Perlis said more research is needed to interpret the results appropriately.
Ultimately, experts recommend remaining mindful of time spent on social media.
“The programs are designed to keep you on as long as possible,” Prinstein said. “Try to be aware of how much time you’re spending on them.”
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