Students are more connected than ever on social networks, especially in these difficult times, when they are physically distant from their family, friends and classmates.
Although social media offers many benefits, such as the ability to express oneself creatively, opportunities to learn, and the ability to connect with other people, social media can also have a negative impact on people’s lives. students, both physically and mentally.
It’s easy to become addicted, and research shows that students who spend too much time on social media can suffer from sleep disturbances, eye strain, negative body image, depression, anxiety, cyberbullying, etc.
The positive impact of social media on students
Connect with your friends
Having a social network, especially in these times of social distancing, is incredibly important and has been shown to have a positive effect on mental health and well-being. It allows students to connect with like-minded friends , breaking the boundaries of distance and time. This can be particularly valuable for young people from minority backgrounds, who may struggle to find others like them.
In addition to the benefits of classroom training offered by sites like YouTube, social media allows students to access mental health and wellness information , which can be difficult to do offline without stigma.
The negative impact of social media on students
Lack of sleep, eyestrain and physical inactivity
Social media can be highly addictive. We all know what it’s like to think we’re only going to check our notifications, and before we know it, we’ve been browsing mindlessly for hours. Using appliances can have a particularly detrimental effect if done close to bedtime, as the blue light emanating from our appliances tricks our bodies into thinking it is still daylight outside, which disrupts our natural rhythms. We also close our eyes less when looking at a device, which, combined with blue light , can lead to eye strain and strain.
Worsening of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
Facebook has studied Instagram’s effect on younger users and made some alarming findings, as The Wall Street Journal reveals. Facebook’s full research papers are available in their newsroom .
Their research shows that:
- Most users wish Instagram “gave them more control over what they see and help them connect with people who have had a similar experience.”
- “1 in 3 teenage girls blame Instagram for aggravating their body image issues and problematic social media use .”
- Users were most likely to think that “Instagram made problematic use worse, followed by social comparison, body image, FOMO (fear of missing out), sleep issues, SSI, and anxiety .”
To promote better mental health, the company is experimenting with hiding “likes” and has enabled the “all caught up” message to help reduce time spent scrolling by letting users know they’ve seen all of the content on accounts they follow. Others suggested other improvements, such as bringing attention to aesthetically altered photos.
Educators and parents need to be aware of the effects social media can have on the children in their care. OnGuard , part of the Netsweeper platform, can filter and block harmful content on social networking sites , and notify educators of students who engage in harmful content online.