You know that tablet or phone we pleaded with our parents to buy for us and in return we promised to produce hard work and study? Well, unfortunately that device with no mind of its own is on its journey to take over our lives. Out of 24 hours of our day, we spend 7-9 hours on average, glued to the screens of our phones and computers. Our young brain does not completely develop before the age of 22, and before we know it, we have already turned it into a piece of junk without even giving it a chance to begin its development.I bet we all find ourselves daydreaming in class which gradually leads to the teacher screaming at us to wake up. Using social media can greatly disrupt sleep patterns by compelling teens to stay up late. Research shows that teens require 8-10 hours of sleep each night and not getting enough leads them to have difficulties with their learning and concentrating followed by unhealthy eating and weight gain. This is the time for us to reach our best abilities but here we are struggling to stay awake in a 1 hour class period because last night’s chat group was way too interesting.
Today’s teenagers are exposed to images that portray perfection. Social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook have a tendency to showcase idealized body- types through images, which have been photo shopped to an unbelievable extent setting unrealistic standards for others. The development of low self-esteem as the posts of the flawless botoxed models are represented to the females who have just hit their lady hood or those unrealistic pictures of veins and muscles popping out of the arms of the guys who are setting an example of manhood for the boys. Research shows that ongoing exposure to unrealistic beauty standards through social media can affect how teenagers perceive their own bodies. These perceptions can negatively affect a teenager’s physical and mental health.
A recent suicide of a 15 year old named Dolly, in the Northern Territory caused by cyber bullying led to the continuous event of her 15 year old best friend Katelyn getting harassed on social media. As disgusting as this is for the young kids of today, sadly it does not just end there. Shortly after, the suicide of Alexis, a 13 year old, also caused by cyber bullying by her peers shocked the community as her best friend Danny was put in the exact position as Katelyn. The comments found after the suicide, on Alexis’s posts on her instagram account were a horrid example of our young teenagers of today. The comments such as “glad you’re dead, you were ugly anyway,” Happy this stupid b**ch is gone,” followed by many more left the parents of the young teen in a trauma. We teenagers today have a tradition of following each other’s acts to just feel accepted. The sickening and unthoughtful acts of teens, or rather I say sheep, on social media affect many innocent lives and sometimes even end them. So are the parents right to be worried about the negative effects of social media on teens? Or are these concerns still merely a sign of a generation gap?
Overall, social media and texting is taking over the lives of teenagers, and whether we want to admit it or not, we’re letting it. The world would probably be in a lot better shape if we all just learnt to have a balance between the fake and the real world but unfortunately our hands are glued to our phones and our eyes are glued to the apps.