Do you know what these social media girls are like behind that camera lens? Are they really that happy, or is it just a facade? Well, the studies say otherwise. At some point in your life, you also must have wondered if you could be THAT GIRL. Have a lot of followers and likes on your social media posts. But there’s more to the world of social media than what meets the eyes.
Social media has a positive impact in connecting the world by providing a space to socialize and share information. But there’s no denying that the rise of social media has severely exploited the innocent young minds of teenagers.
Social Media And Teens
Social media, which used to be a rare platform a couple of years ago, is now accessible to people of all ages. According to statistics, teen girls spend more amount of time on social networking sites than teen boys. They spend less time socializing in the real world. As fascinating as it seems, the real life of most social media girls is contrary to their online persona. The constant social pressure to look and behave a certain way takes a toll on their mental as well as physical health.
A survey by Pew Research Centre reveals that 97% of individuals between 13 to 17 years old are on at least one major SNS. Also, according to the American Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), 51% of youth use social media sites every day. And on average, teens have screen time of almost 9 hours on a daily basis.
People who lack social skills in the real world have a higher chance of meeting someone with whom they can relate. And thus they spend much time there. A lot of time, they feel dejected from reality and have no close friends and social networks. Social media girls forum provides a platform for such girls to communicate with others in a safe space.
The Audience Of Social Media Girls
Not everyone, but there is a huge number of people who approach these sites with ill intentions. The comments you see on social media girls posts are horrific sometimes. Bashing, cat-calling, and objectifying girls is an awful social media culture. Some haters and perverts go to the extreme extent of sexual harassment, causing psychological distress in key periods of adolescence.
At particular times of our lives, we all feel unsatisfied, unloved, and unwanted. This phase usually comes at puberty and is one of the worst parts of middle school. Young people going through this avoid social interactions but envy others for the size of their friend groups. Their social anxiety also makes them unconfident about their physical appearance. Some vulnerable young people try these platforms to find romantic relationships they have been longing for. But in search of satisfaction, they get involved in real sex at an earlier age. Sometimes social media girls fall victim to porn websites and slut pages. This leads to a turmoil of fear and addiction.
The Affects Mental And Physical Health Of Teens?
Excessive social media use culminates in detrimental mental and physical health effects. Many girls at different times in high school dream of being the ‘It girl’ like those in glossy women’s magazines. Most of such individuals suffer from body image issues or are awkward in social circumstances. The hard metrics of likes and comment counts on social media make it challenging for these individuals to gain popularity. So to seek attention and validation, they go to extreme lengths to put on an enviable public display.
The Lancet Child And Adolescent Health conducted a new study on the mental health issues in teens due to frequent use of SNS. It predicted lower well-being in young women. This impact was due to cyberbullying, lack of sleep, and physical activity, which resulted in a negative link in life satisfaction to 80.1%, happiness to 47.7%, and anxiety to 32.4%.
In extreme cases, social media girls obsess over their online presence. The fear of missing out (FOMO) keeps them awake at night, and they don’t get enough sleep. Eating disorders such as having a raw diet to stay lean are also one of the consequences. A spike in the rates of depression and self-harm is seen in teenage girls using online platforms. All these are common factors that end up causing a bigger issue. The increased suicide rates in adolescent girls. Every year, 10 out of 100,000 patients are rushed to an emergency room for attempted suicide. Several pro suicide websites with factual information contribute to abetting and aiding suicides. The rise in suicidal behavior is largely associated with cyberbullying, sexual harassment, cyber stalking, threats, and blackmailing.
Effect Of Social Media On Brain Development
The researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Donders Institute researched the impact of social media on the structure of the brain. Dr Amy Orben says there’s a very complex relationship between social media and the mental well-being of young adults. The co-author of the study, Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, finds this link between the two to be vague. She says that there is considerable uncertainty to this claim. As if this vulnerability comes from how a person interacts with their peers or changes in hormones during development.
Dr Orben further clarifies that it is not necessary that the excessive use of any social-media platforms have a negative impact on a person’s life. It can be the reverse case as well. A young person may excessively use social media as a coping mechanism.
From assessing a specific population level, it is difficult to assume how social media will impact people’s mental health. But it is possible to predict individuals of which age groups and backgrounds are most vulnerable to its negative effects. Thus, scientists are demanding social media companies share data with analysts and be more open to fixing the damages caused by online platforms.
Nature communications also highlight the correlation between developmental changes and social behavior. Because, during puberty, bodily changes in females occur earlier than in males. This can cause changes in social behavior in young girls compared to boys.
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