With the 40 year lifespan of social media and its evolution over the years, numerous studies have been conducted by a gazillion researchers probing into its impact in our everyday lives.
Like an old stuck record, in most cases the answer remains the same by embracing the benefits whilst reiterating the downside which far outweighs the pros.
Katie Hurley, in her article titled, ‘The scary risks and possible benefits of living in a social media dependent world’ narrates and paints a vivid picture of how social media has drastically altered our relations, messed up critical social skills development and paved the way for unrealistic comparisons and cyber-bullying.
Consequently, statistics have reported an increase in depression-social media cases.
Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by loss of interest in activities, causing a significant impairment in daily life. Its symptoms include feelings of worthlessness and irritable mood, suicidal thoughts, social isolation and changes in sleeping and eating patterns.
In the midst of the social media frenzy, comparisons have become a norm thus providing a breeding ground for a downward spiral into a deep and dark hole of insecurity, hopelessness and inadequacy.
And through the very same comparisons, cyber-bullying takes centre stage with people hiding behind their phones and making it a point to put the spot light on peoples’ shortcomings. This often leads to suicidal thoughts and in some instances leads to suicide as victims seek a route to numbing the pain of being bashed.
From these, the question of how one can protect themselves against social media misgivings whilst enjoying their experience arises hence provision of a few tips especially when dealing with teenagers.
Social media safety tips for teenagers and young adults:
- Keep your password private.
- Don’t post your every move.
- Block people who harass or make you uncomfortable online.
- Think before you post because in these days of technology, nothing is ever truly deleted.
- Avoid engaging in cyber brawls.
- Be your own person and avoid being pressured into being someone you are not.
- Avoid ranting or arguing with people and posting when upset.
- Don’t measure your own life based on what others post.
- Be smart about who you give your number and exact location to.