We tell you how social networks affect young people, an important and increasingly necessary reflection in education.
Social media are already an important part of our lives. We have so internalized their use that it seems that they have always been there. But the truth is that they are something relatively new.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… they haven’t even turned two decades. In fact, its birth dates back to the year 2000 with the appearance of the first web pages with a social purpose, among which LinkedIN is one of the oldest (2003).
In this context, much reflection is still needed, especially with regard to education. Today it is one of the biggest headaches for parents and teachers, and it is also one of the tools that contribute to cyberbullying .
That is why we wanted to talk in this article about how social networks affect young people and other aspects to take into account in order to deal with it. Let’s go there.
How social networks affect young people
The first thing we must make clear is that social networks are not bad, just like video games are not bad , as we have heard so many times.
It all depends on the use made of them. To start laying the foundations it is important that we analyze the effects that social media are having and how social media is affecting health in general.
Negative effects of social networks
Social networks are considered one of the biggest time thieves . One of the measures that we recommend is to configure alerts that notify us that we have already reached our usage time limit.
Instagram, for example, has this functionality and can help us combat misuse.
Dependence is one of the first effects that social networks have had. It is common to see people hooked on their mobile devices in silence, when they are in the company of other friends, instead of talking, laughing, playing or dancing.
Negatively affect self-esteem
The image that tends to be projected on social networks, such as Instagram or Snapchat, is far removed from reality. We are talking about the obsession with the cult of the body and an image of perfection that can become a pressure factor, especially in the case of adolescents.
They clearly influence their identity, taking into account that this stage is decisive for finding oneself and defining oneself as a person.
With regard to eating disorders, something against which they have been fighting for some time, social networks have done nothing more than favor the increase in the number of cases of bulimia and anorexia.
And lastly, they contribute to that fear of “being left out”, of acceptance, of being part of a group.
The excessive use of social networks can also cause sleep disorders , especially if the last thing you do before going to bed is to be with your mobile phone.
In addition, the misuse of social networks can also cause depression, anxiety and anguish . The need to constantly check what is happening on profiles on social networks, to belong to a group, to pretend to be what one is not, favors all these types of pathologies and ailments.
By now the negative health effects of social media abuse will have become clear , however we have not yet addressed technological illnesses such as nomophobia , dissociative identity disorder, phubbing, etc. Other no less important effects.
Now, is it all negative? The answer is no.
Positive effects of social networks
Among the positive effects of social networks on young people are the following:
- They discover new ways of thinking , other points of view.
- They are informed about news and other topics worldwide.
- It is a medium where they can express themselves freely and find their own identity.
- It teaches them to share and live in community .
- In social networks they can also find emotional support in other adolescents.
- It helps them stay connected with their friends .
- With social networks we are reading more than ever .
Therefore, as we said, you have to make good use of social networks. Only in this way will we reduce the negative effects and encourage the positive ones. Yes, we have work ahead of us. Let’s do it!