When you ask some teenagers to name the social networking site that they cannot keep themselves from visiting even a single day, most of them will give ‘Facebook’ as their answer. Even, some of them might point out ‘Twitter’ as well. Social media is turning out to be the mainstream in the lives of many teens and adults these days just because of the fact that they can view the images of their friends and relatives, which is not possible with phone calls. Even though, these sites enable stronger relationships, it has been pointed out that they are acting as the important cause for teen depression as well.
Adolescents is a stage at which children experience a big transition from the focus of their parents to the focus of their friends. At this stage, each one of us would have considered our friends to be closer as compared to our family members. Some years ago, we were directly interacting with them, but nowadays, teens are interacting with their friends and are always keeping themselves in touch with their friends via social networking sites. A record shows that nearly 75% of the teenagers are using the social networking sites these days. Some of the problems that children can face when they continue with this habit are discussed below, which can lead to teen depression:
Reduction in self-esteem
Generally, teen depression arises in these children and this is because of the social comparison. Children in their puberty period generally hold themselves in constant comparison with others. They silently compare everything right from their dress, family members, socioeconomic status, etc.…. Irrespective of whether they do it consciously or unconsciously, they size themselves up against somebody or even everybody. When this is done constantly in social media sites, they inevitably find themselves inferior than the others and so they will also experience a constant sense of rejection as well and the resulting reduction in self-esteem.
Virtual world Vs. Real World
Not only social media sites, but the internet itself can be a cause of teen depression. In the world of instant gratification, children will generally select the easiest form of communication. Today, face-to-face and even voice-to-voice contact is not essential as they are constantly keeping in touch via texts, tweets, chats and this can turn out to be an addiction too. This sort of addiction can be understood by the parents, who the teens are finding it difficult to control themselves from the time they are spending online. Even, it can affect their studies and day-to-day activities to a great extent. This can also detract them from human interaction and they will eliminate talking to their family members too in the long run.
According to the Journal of Pediatrics, personal communication brings about several benefits like enhanced cognitive development, vocabulary, social skills and understanding. When they spend most of their time on social networking sites, they lose the element of personal communication and they begin to believe the virtual world as the real world.
So, parents should teach their children about teen depression when they are constantly using social media sites and this should be carefully explained to protect them.