The Effects Of Social Media On Children
Written By Katherine Gutierrez, M.S.
Child, Adolescent & Young Adult Mental Health Therapist
Social Media allows us to make connections with individuals all over the world. It has also become an essential part of modern society. But with all its benefits also come the negatives, especially for children.
So how does social media affect children?
Limits one on one social in person interactions- We are social beings and there is an undeniable need for in person interaction. Being deprived of such interactions can have lasting effects.
Can cause self-esteem issues- It’s not a competition but it may feel like it is. Social media allows us to display an almost unrealistic reality at times. Look at the clothes I just bought, the money that I have and all the friends I’m hanging out with, are just a few examples of things that can be inflated through social media, causing children to feel as if they are not good enough because they don’t have or can’t obtain what they see online.
Can potentially put children in danger- Although we would love to think that children will always make the right choice and will be able to see a person’s true intentions through a screen, the reality is simply different. It is almost impossible to know that every person who your child speaks to in social media is truly who they say they are which ultimately exposes them to danger.
Cyberbullying-Oftentimes there is a false sense of security obtained from being behind a keyboard that can cause false confidence creating a world where things are said and done without any empathy for the feelings of others.
FOMO Phenomenon- Fear Of Missing Out is real. Being left out of gossip or being ignored by friends on social media can cause children to feel anxiety or even depression. There is an immense sense of belonging that comes from being acknowledged by your friends by liking your post or being tagged in a picture.
Although it is important to be vigilant with our children and their use of Social Media it is also important to acknowledge the benefits associated with its use. Especially in our current state of the world, social media has allowed us all to remain connected in ways that keep us sane. If not for the use of social media and other technological outlets, quarantine would have caused more harm than it already has.
If you find yourself questioning your child’s use of social media and need a professional’s assistance in helping your child, please contact one of our therapists at 239-266-2620 or apeacefulmind.org and receive a free consultation to see how we can help.