The effect of social media on student’s health
As a generation of Z millennial, the most prominent access my age has gotten is technology. This unlimited access to digital technology, mainly social media, has driven millennials to focus most of their time and interactions in a virtual world which exists on the internet. The effect of social media on the student. I recall the first time I got access to use social media. Facebook was the hottest thing out, and I created an account to get in touch with my friends and not feel left out from my peers.
At first, I only went on Facebook once a week or so to check on my feed. As time passed by, all my friends and I started to get obsessed with posting pictures and videos and tracking how many ‘likes’ we got for our posts as well as how many new friend requests we received. The number of ‘likes’ or Facebook friends one had was, in a way, the new way to measure popularity. Posting something and getting feedback in the form of a ‘Thumbs up’ button right away was highly addictive. Part of this is related to a biological disposition amongst young adults.
According to an article,
“Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making”, published in American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, For this reason, young adults are susceptible to getting addicted to social media. Getting a ‘like’ on a post serves as a positive reinforcement feedback loop.
This leads to people posting something on their social media platform and awaiting the validation by a from a ‘like’ or re-post. I would argue that the effects of the instant gratification would percolate to another aspect of our lives and creates dissatisfaction when we do not get it elsewhere.
Regardless, we participate and indulge in this behaviour without fully understanding the long-term side effects of social media. Social media has a way of luring young adults. One way is by selling the idea that one can gain popularity and notoriety.
And the other is anonymity. For these reasons, young people are attracted to joining social media platforms and spending an unhealthy amount of time on it. Social media has many side effects that directly and indirectly affect young student’s health.
People who spend lots of time using social media experiencing loneliness and feel isolated. This is because of many reasons. One of the reasons include since they spent most of their time on social media, their attention will be on what is happening at the moment on social media. For example, how many likes they have, who texted them or who commented on their picture. They always want to check and stay up to date.
Therefore, they will not be engaged with conversations and will not have the interest to socialise. For that reason, no one would like to have a serious relationship with someone who doesn’t give him/her attention and time. As a result, victims can be exposed to depression and stress.
According to a research by The Cigna Health Insurance Company, where 20,000 people participated, therapist and author Sherry Amatenstein mentioned in his article, “Not So Social Media: How Social Media Increases Loneliness“, Moreover, social media causing isolation could lead to several severe mental and physical problems in young students. These include depression, stress, addiction and other psychological issues.
One of the mental problems that social media causes are stress. Besides isolation, competition in school could be one of the factors causing depression. Students post the perfect moment of their daily life on their social media page, or even some of them try to be creative in writing the caption of their picture.
To be equal and sometimes to also get the topics to talk about with friends, each member in the same “social status” tries to post a new picture also though he/she doesn’t have the time and the money to go to expensive places or unique spots to take a picture. These struggles to keep up with friends creates stress on the majority of students.
The effect of social media on students
Additionally, it makes people do things that they didn’t plan to do it before. For example, in the article “Social Media and the Cost of Caring”, Author Keith Hampton, et al, mentioned that “A woman with an average size network of Facebook friends is aware of 13% more stressful events in the lives of her closest social ties, compared with an equivalent woman who does not use Facebook.” Also, some students are not satisfied with their life in school, so they try to impress and create an image to their peers by working on their social media profile, which creates stress because most of the patterns we compare ourselves against are perfect.
The other factor is the interaction with new people. When people meet new people on social media, he/she overthinks on how to respond without offending them and how to keep up the conversation flowing. According to the article, “Effects of Text Messaging on College Students’ Perceptions of Personal Health”, by Heather K. Hudson, et al.
This shows that even something as simple as texting people back can be stressful. When people spend a lot of time on social media, they neglect their responsibilities. For students, this can mean not keeping up with their academic progress or not spending satisfying time with family, and either one of this can lead to more stress.
The other reason causing stress is the spread of fear-mongering news on social media. The situation in university students of Ethiopia can be the best example to explain how fear-mongering news causes stress. In Ethiopia, there is a student’s union group which has a vast amount of members and work for political parties to distract the government and also to change how the government administers universities.
According to the article, “Why the Oromo protests mark a change in Ethiopia’s political landscape“, this group are “predominantly students from elementary school to university, organising collective action through social media.” (). How this student union operates is, they demand change from the government by mobilising university student’s through social media and call to protest by doing things such as stop going to school until their demands met. They use social media to disseminate information and plan of action for their protest.