Teens who regularly use social media, when compared to those who don’t, are three times more likely to use alcohol, five times more likely to smoke, and two times more likely to smoke marijuana.
In the realm of 2014’s iconic tunes, “Selfie” stands out as a memorable electronic house track. This catchy song featured an amusing monologue by a young woman fixated on the art of taking self-portraits, commonly known as selfies.
The Evolution of Selfies
A selfie captures a moment, a self-portrait snapped with a smartphone. Gone are the days of relying on friends to capture your essence; now, you can frame yourself in the perfect shot while peering at your device’s screen. The surge in smartphone use has transformed millions into amateur portraitists, avidly sharing their self-portraits across popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Beyond the Surface: The Dark Consequences
While the selfie trend appears harmless, recent incidents shed light on its darker consequences. A poignant example is the story of Danny Bowman, a 19-year-old UK resident who grappled with suicidal thoughts linked to a selfie obsession. This tragedy prompted experts to explore the perils of social media addiction.
Unmasking the Dangers: Expert Insights
Dr. Karrie Lager, a prominent pediatric psychologist in the United States, underscores the positive aspect of social media as a means for youth to stay connected. However, she warns of adverse effects arising from excessive usage. Citing a Columbia University study, Dr. Lager reveals that a staggering 70% of US teens, roughly 17 million individuals, engage with social media daily. Shockingly, teens immersed in social media activities are three times more prone to alcohol use, five times more likely to smoke, and twice as likely to indulge in marijuana. A concerning 40% of these teens report exposure to substance-related content, further fuelling substance use.
Social Media Addiction: A Growing Concern
Dr. Lager’s research extends beyond substance abuse risks. She identifies symptoms akin to addiction stemming directly from social media use, including tolerance, withdrawal, and compromised health. Two separate studies delve into the addictive aspects of social media.
In 2013, the University of Michigan explored the correlation between Facebook usage and well-being. The findings pointed towards a negative impact on participants’ emotions and life satisfaction. The constant exposure to others’ peak and low moments through photos likely contributed to a diminished sense of personal contentment.
Unveiling the Neurological Impact
Delving into the neurological realm, researchers investigate the brain’s response to social media usage. Harvard University’s study reveals that divulging personal information triggers the brain’s reward centres. This gratification becomes a driving force behind sharing on social media platforms. Dr. Adi Jaffie further highlights the rapid stimulation of the brain’s reward centres through mobile-based social media use, potentially fostering dependence among users.
In conclusion, the seemingly innocuous act of taking and sharing selfies unfolds a complex tapestry of mental health challenges. Acknowledging these issues is crucial in fostering a balanced relationship with the digital world and mitigating the adverse impacts on the younger generation’s well-being.
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