The rising acceptance of social media devices has contributed to a rapid rise in screen time exposure for children. The total daily screen time of smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions, and video game consoles for adolescents 8- to 18-years-old, has risen from 5 to 7.5 hours since 1999, this exceeds the recommendation of 2 hours or less by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Sanders). A teenager may not think they are spending that much of their time on social media or recognize any effects they may have. Adolescence is a significant period in human development, during this time many changes occur on the inside as well as out. Biologically changes, emotional development, an awareness of self and developing relationships.
Compared to previous generations, today’s adolescents have increased exposure to social media. During this time of development, mental health issues appear to be more apparent and during this time signs of mental health arise. Teenagers usually do not have the awareness of being mentally healthy or how to maintain emotional balance. (O’Reilly 601- 602) Youngsters regularly report going to web sites, for example, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram to escape from the daily troubles hovering their well-being. Most teenagers presently utilize web-based life, with figures proposing that the same number of as 97% do as such routinely.
An ongoing report found that 57% of US teenagers had started connections on the web, with half of the respondents had ‘friended’ somebody on Facebook (or comparative) to tell them that they were adoringly interested. (O’Reilly 602) Another interesting fact that teens are affected by is the fear of missing out. According to Przybylski, FOMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent” (Griffiths). Hence, the “Like” button on Facebook. Social media can take on many forms of communication and social connection, many grew concerned about the amount of time teens spent online (O’Reilly 602). Everywhere you go you can see a teenager has a phone or tablet in their hands. Internet use appears to be linked to less face-to-face interaction, increased alone time, stress, depression and sleep deprivation (O’Reilly 602). There were three areas that were studied as to what the perspective of an adolescent was regarding the effects of social media. The areas studied were: social media can cause stress, depression, low self-image and thoughts of suicide, social media can open doors to predators and bullying, and social media can be addicting. (O’Reilly 605-608)
This study displays that adolescents have concerns about the risks of social media effects on mental well-being by precisely leading to mood and anxiety disorders and indirectly through cyberbullying. Most of the information and data given by the teens were from seeing another person’s experience, not their own. But overall the teens in this study did have concerns with the negative effects of social media in their lives. (O’Reilly 610) Adolescents are very impressionable, they see their parents, teacher, and friends on social media, and they think it is proper for them to do as well. Teens learn best by example compared to what they are instructed to do. Setting a good example for teenagers is imperative for steering them in the correct direction. Teaching teenagers how to navigate through social media and communication about how they are feeling and what is going on in their mind and emotions can help reduce some adverse effects they feel relating to social media.