Social Media Depression – A Myth or Truth?
New researches have just revealed how social media can greatly affect your mental health especially when it comes to teens. No matter what your teens did on their phones today, it surely involves the use of social media. They catch with their friends, post the picture of something new they got, replied to a bunch of comments, and much more. This is like their routine.
Despite the frequent use of social media and its popularity among kids, teens, and adults, it is still unclear how it affects our lives such as our personalities, behaviors, relationships, and most importantly mental health. Many studies have linked the use of social media to anxiety, lower self-esteem, inattention, and hyperactivity. Recently experts have given the attention the social media depression that is specifically increasing in teens who excessively use it.
For teens, the use of social media is just like an adventure. They want to explore as much as they can at the same moment as entertainment. But in doing so, they get so much indulged in it that they hardly see the danger coming towards them. This entertainment soon turns into an addiction and this leads to anxiety, stress, and depression.
Warning Signs of Social Media Depression
Everyone is unique and no time limit, or the number of posts, or the frequency of the mobile check can tell that you are using social media in an unhealthy manner but it all depends on your mood and the intentions of using it. Whether you are using it just because you like and you have it under control, or you have some complex due to which you are uncontrollably addicted to it.
Social media use is problematic if it makes you ignore face-to-face relationships, distracts you from school or work, and leaves you all stressed out and depressed, or angry. If you are using social media just because you are bored or you want to post anything that makes people jealous, you are in trouble.
Indicators that you are indulging in social media depression:
· Spending More Time on Social Media Than with Real Friends
Lots of teens are using social media to avoid social interactions and stay away from real-life situations. This is dangerous for them. Most of them are too shy to sit and talk in a social gathering which makes them all stressed out and depressed. They also have this feeling that others are enjoying more than they do.
· Experiencing Cyberbullying
They are in constant worry that other people are not liking what they have to say or they are criticizing you. It makes them worried before posting anything on the media.
· Being Distracted at Work Or School
Teens often show distraction while doing the things they used to do. The activities they used to enjoy, their homework, and other chores, they lose interest all of a sudden. They are always worried about checking their mobile phones, again and again, to respond quickly, and see what other people are doing. This keeps them distracted all the time.
· No Time for Self-Reflection
Every spare moment they have is filled with the use of social media only. They have no time to reflect upon themselves and see what they are doing wrong. There are times when everyone should think about where their life is headed and what they are doing, but with the use of social media, the teens fail to feel that moment.
· Suffering from Sleep Problems
Teens are often seen checking their mobile phones in the middle of the night again and again. They often stay awake with their mobile phones in their hands. They are addicted to the use of social media so much that their brain is often active even if they are sleeping. They don’t get to have the proper sleep, even a minimal vibration or a light notification wakes them up out of curiosity.
· Comparing Yourself with Others On Social Media
Teens often suffer from the complex that other people are enjoying their lives more than they can ever do. People often show their glittery pictures, experiences, and posts that are not even real, and it makes teens feel like they have nothing. These glittery images make them believe that others are living their dream life and they don’t get to enjoy it at all.
· Feeling Stressed Out
They often feel stressed out when they don’t get the replies and comments on their post or if someone posts something that offends them. They can hardly take any pressure especially when it comes to social media. They stay anxious and stressed out due to people not giving them proper attention to social media.
These signs can easily lead to depression and anxiety where the kids don’t understand it at first but several times, they do the feel void and stress in themselves which is social media depression. They don’t get to interact with anything in real life and they hardly can manage their relationships.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents are often worried about their teens’ mental health but they seldom see the things that are meant to be noticed. They see that their kids are happy with their smartphones and they get satisfied with it. But there are minor things that are meant to be noticed and treated at the moment.
You can make sure they are mentally fine by using parental control apps like SecureTeen. This way, you can take a look at their activities over social media and notice where they are behaving unusually. Are they giving too much attention to social media? Are they responding to the posts readily? Or are they too much curious about what others are saying?
The content of their posts and the level of engagement over social media can be a real indicator of what they are thinking and how they are feeling. There are several things that parents can notice in their teens’ social engagement that can lead to several conclusions. Parents can even help them improve their mental status by engaging at the right time.