This year SMP students and teachers have been challenged to “unplug” and monitor their screen time and media usage. Our world and generation has become very dependent on technology and this is a great way for our school community to take a step back from social media and do things like self reflect, spend quality time with family and friends, read a book, or even do something as simple as walking your dog. It is easy for us to get wrapped up in the excitement and entertainment of social media and not notice how it could be negatively impacting us. Below are a few ways that social media has shown to affect people who use it regularly.
1. Lacking Social Skills
Social media has become the main source of communication for a large number of people, especially teens. This way of communication has made our language lazy and has increased social anxiety rates due to people being unsure and nervous to meet and talk with people face to face.
2. Decline in Mental Health
It has been proven that regular social media users have shown a decline in mental health. Teens have shown increased rates of anxiety, depression, and an increased rate of insecurities. We often forget that people typically only show the “highlights” of their life making it seem “perfect” to outside viewers leading us to feel bad about ourselves or our lives if they are not “perfect” as well.
3. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
I am sure you have heard the acronym FOMO as it has become very popular as the use of social media has increased. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is used when we see that one post of everyone hanging out and we aren’t there or weren’t invited which causes you to constantly check your phone to see what they might be doing without you. This has had a large impact on self esteem, anxiety, and self doubt in teens.
Good ways to prevent these things from having negative impacts in your life is participating in challenges at school like “unplugging” or challenging yourself by only allowing social media use at certain times or for a limited time each day. Another way to prevent negative effects is to check on yourself and your friends. Making sure that your mental health is the best that it can be will prevent many of these things from having a negative impact in your life.