Social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter are godsends to most kids and teens because they can get in touch with their friends and relatives, share everything about their lives, and know what’s going on in the rest of the world through these platforms.
As soon as they open these apps, they can communicate with lots of people and learn everything about the people who are close to them, especially if they are present on the same social media platform. Social media helps kids open up, meet new people, and learn about social and interpersonal skills.
Social media has connected people from different parts of the world. It has boosted kids’ confidence and helped them grow developmentally. However, like all things, even social media has a bad side. Several studies have suggested that social media can have bad effects on kids’ mental health. This has led parents to consider a spy app for Android or iPhone to monitor their kid’s activity on social media.
There is no denying that social media has become the biggest addiction for most kids and teens. They remain glued on their electronic devices only to constantly check on their Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media apps. Experts believe that this constant checking on social media apps and staying updated about others’ lives can be addicting for kids.
Health experts have found that the more the “likes” kids receive on their photos on social media, the happier they feel. The reward centers of the brain are activated when kids get appreciation for their social media posts. This is why kids are more inclined towards social media.
Bad Effects of Social Media on Kids
We already know that social media can be an addiction for kids and can lead them to several physiological and mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Let us discuss how bad social media can be for your kid’s health. According to scientific studies and psychologists, the following are the bad effects of social media:
Poor Mental Health
It has been found that kids who spend more than three hours every day on social media are more than twice as likely to experience poor mental health. When they fully immerse themselves in the internet world, they tend to experience a significant delay in their emotional and social development.
A report has suggested that social media apps are a potential source of cyberbullying, isolation, and constant social comparison. This can lead to several mental health problems and kids can suffer greatly because of them.
Fear of Missing Out
Another bad effect of social media is the fear of missing out (FOMO). It is true that sleep disorder, addiction, stress, isolation, depression, and insecurity are some of the negative effects of social media but we cannot ignore FOMO which has become a rising concern these days.
FOMO is when kids fear missing out on something important on social media. For instance, kids do not want to miss catching up on their friends’ activities, parties, jokes, and other means of having fun on social media. This fear can lead them to anxiety and depression. As a result, it can affect their mental health deeply. FOMO is one of the main reasons why teens are addicted to social media.
Popular social media apps like Instagram have caused teens, especially girls to compare their lives with Instagram celebrities, models, and influencers. They look up to their idols and try to imitate them. In their attempt to look or be like them, these teen girls often forget themselves. Most of the time, they feel bad about themselves because they cannot become or look like their idols.
This constant comparison with others can be bad for teen girls and can cause them depression. It is wrong to indulge in social comparison because most photos and videos that they see on Instagram are heavily loaded with filters, makeup, right camera angles, and many other manipulations. Therefore, teen girls should not be influenced by Instagram celebrities because reality is quite far from the truth.
Another negative effect of kids spending too much time on social media is experiencing cyberbullying. Kids are not aware that their social media profiles are being stalked by bullies all the time. Kids who do not like your kids for some reason are always looking for reasons to degrade or humiliate them.
Social media platforms have made it easier for bullies to reach out to their victims online and send them threatening, hurtful, and embarrassing messages through DMs, tweets, and posts. Kids who cannot defend themselves or fail to recognize signs of cyberbullying often do not report such incidents to anyone and bear the effects of this harmful online danger on their own.
Reports have suggested that kids and teens who are constantly bullied on social media are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. What’s more, they are also likely to have suicidal thoughts.
Lack of Sleep
It has also been reported that kids and teens who use social media until the wee hours of the night are likely to experience a lack of sleep. They stay up late only to watch movies, chat with their friends, or scroll through their social media feeds to stay updated about what’s going on in someone else’s lives.
The health experts say that the glow emanating from their mobile screens causes kids to suffer from insomnia, disturbing their normal sleep pattern. It is not recommended for kids to use their smartphones or any other electronic devices before going to bed because it can severely affect their sleep.
Having a poor posture is another reason why social media can be bad for your kids. Kids are so much engrossed in their social media lives that they tend to forget how much time they are spending on their devices. They can sit in random postures while remaining glued to their screens. This can badly affect their body posture and cause them to have body aches and back pains.
Furthermore, too much exposure to devices and social media can also cause them to have severe neck pains. This happens when they sit in inappropriate positions while using their smartphones. Severe neck and back pains are linked with poor posture because of using smartphones way too much.
No doubt social media has brought numerous benefits to our lives and has made us closer to anyone. But we should not ignore the bad effects these platforms can have on our kids and teens. Parents should put limits on the amount of time kids spend on social media if they want to protect them from problems.
They should also monitor kid’s social media activity by using iPhone or Android spy app so that they can make sure kids are not harmed by any online threats and dangers. Last but not least, they should not be authoritative with their kids and explain everything to them in a calm tone. Educate them about the bad effects of social media and how dangerous these platforms can be for them if they do not use them responsibly and safely.