Cut down on social media

Editor, Daily Union: By scrolling through a forest of posts, it is causing today’s millennials to be hypnotized by major social media platforms. To the way we communicate and further develop this world, there is a dark side to this network of possibilities.

An addiction to the worldwide web, like any drug, comes with many crippling mental health problems and social consequences. The progression of depression/anxiety, cyberbullying, unhealthy sleep patterns, FOMO, unrealistic expectations and negative body image are just a few. Society and mental health is put in the hands of parents to raise their kids to live without the influence of social media.

According to Child Mind Institute, “A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14- to 24-year-olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all lead to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.” This can show us that many youth feel an obligation to their social medias, isolating themselves, comparing themselves to those they see online, and a major fear of missing out. These thoughts can also create the youth to have unrealistic expectations because someone they follow is living their life differently, making them want exactly what they have.

According to the article, “Current Perspectives: The Impact of Cyberbullying on Adolescent” by Charisse Nixon, “… prevalence rates for cyberbullying victimization range from 4 percent to 72 percent, with an average of 20 percent to 40 percent of adolescents reporting victimization via cyberbullying.” This prominent issue of cyberbullying can create negative effects on youth and cause them to live and think negatively. Cyberbullying can also cause an unhealthy sleeping pattern due to the thoughts and threats that one is receiving from being cyberbullied.

Even without the research, the negative effects of social media on today’s youth is dominant in their thoughts and actions. Everything has come down to what others on social media will think of you, how to dress and act, body image and daily expectation. Many millennials can’t survive without their phones and crave scrolling through hours of posts. Bring back the days of running around outside until our parents call us in and enjoying life in front of the screen.

Now I ask you, what can you do to help millennials, and how are you going to encourage different parenting styles? — Roma Smith, Whitewater.

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