Social networks are an integral part of modern life. Thanks to them, people who are at any distance, have the opportunity to freely communicate, share photos and other interesting information. But having found such a useful opportunity, many begin to abuse it. Uncontrolled pastime on the Internet leads to a blurring of the boundaries between reality and illusion, as a result of which the influence and impact of social networks can be a real danger.
According to the results of the research, high-risk groups include office workers who spend 8-10 hours a day at the computer and, of course, adolescents who are subject to mass influence and who are constantly searching for new emotions. Their receptive psyche is in the stage of enhanced formation. The formation of the character of a maturing personality directly depends on what surrounds it. Therefore, social networks are not the best influence on the behavior of children from 12 to 18 years.
Of course, adolescents believe that networking helps them:
- Make friends and keep in touch with them;
- Win popularity and peer approval;
- Feel the necessary support;
- Get enough attention;
- To assert themselves in the eyes of friends.
Parents, in turn, may note causeless irritation, depressed mood or, conversely, an uncontrollable surge of emotion in their children. The reason for this is the excessive impressionability inherent in adolescents. That it prevents them from benefiting from social networks. In order to assess the whole scale of the problem, it is necessary to figure out what the danger of this fashionable virtual trend is.
How do social networks affect modern teenagers?
Despite the seeming innocence, sites for communication on the Internet cause irreparable damage to real life. They take a lot of valuable time that could be spent on studies or physical development. In addition to the enormous time costs, they impede adequate thinking, exerting influence and distorting a sense of world perception. As a result of such an impact, an already susceptible teenager acquires a lot of psychological problems, becoming more complex and nervous.
The result of the influence of social networks can be:
- Inability to communicate in real life. Having mastered virtual communications, a teenager comes to the conclusion that it is much easier to contact people on the Internet: here he can hide his emotions or take time out for reflection. With live communication, this feature is missing. A child accustomed to social sites can no longer correctly and quickly formulate his answer, and therefore has a lot of difficulties.
- Intellectual degradation. Adolescence is the best time to learn new, fairly complex information. Spending time on the Internet, children neglect their studies, depriving themselves of the opportunity to get new and interesting knowledge.
- Lack of ability to correctly formulate thoughts and desires. It is much easier to bring them to the virtual interlocutor – elementary spelling errors are admissible here, there is no punctuation at all, and instead of correct formulation of complex sentences, you can replace any emotion with a smile.
- Looking at the beautiful posts of his friends, the teenager begins involuntarily complexes. He is convinced that his life is not as rich and interesting as his peers. As a result, the child’s entire activity is concentrated in the desire to play the right role, to capture the best shots of his everyday life, and not for his own satisfaction, but for the approval of friends.
- Loss of interest in reality. Teenagers, fixated on virtual communication, cannot imagine their life without friends from the Internet. Viewing news in the tape causes them much more emotion than simple human values.
- Distorted perception of you. Self-affirmation of a teenager is directly dependent on the number of subscribers and the number of likes under his posts. In his opinion, the attitude of those around him depends on these criteria. So, a child who is popular in a social network becomes a narcissist, and complexes begin to form with the owner of an under the locked account.
- Emotional illusion. Due to the lack of live communication, adolescents find it difficult to recognize the real emotions of each other, with the result that the dialogue with the interlocutor is sometimes perceived as completely wrong – an imprudently spoken word can repel and even hurt.
- Unreasonable jealousy. Adolescents in love lurk even greater problems. Reckless adding friends of the opposite sex or unobtrusive communication with them can turn a tender and understanding soul mate into a real fury, ready to explode with one wrong word.
- Occupation on the exterior. New smartphones offer unique opportunities for teens. Owners of modern devices can take amazing pictures, no different from professional star photos. And if after that the child does not receive the desired approval, he begins to look for a flaw in himself. And the strangest thing is finding it! Without even thinking that the reason for the lack of likes can be low site traffic, a bad camera or just the wrong angle.
- Low-stress tolerance. Previously, people splashed all the negative in the face of the interlocutor. Now fights in doorways transformed into virtual showdowns, often becoming mass harassment of the disagreeable. Such a development can not only humiliate, but also provoke a real depression.
Due to the negative impact of social networks on the adolescent, a whole spectrum of contrived problems falls, the significance of which is greatly overestimated due to the age of transition. People experiencing constant stresses have unreasonable mood swings and sleep disturbances. Being in constant nervous tension, they no longer benefit from communication in social networks and increasingly feel lonely and misunderstood.
In addition to emotional and social problems, adolescents who spend a lot of time on the Internet, it becomes more difficult to perform everyday tasks and competently manage their own time. Because of their prolonged immersion in the virtual world, their ability to concentrate is deteriorating, as a result of which children become distracted, forgetful, and anxious.
The negative impact of social networks is not limited to psychological problems. Adolescents are often marked by deterioration in mental development. You can track these indicators, analyze school performance. As a rule, under the influence of social networks, students begin to lag behind in subjects that were previously easily perceived. It becomes difficult for them from the first time to understand all the information conveyed by the teacher.
Closes the list of problems that have arisen under the influence of social networks, the deterioration of adolescent health. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, his posture changes, on which the formation and location of the abdominal organs depend. Vision often suffers the safety of which even the most modern smartphones, tablets and laptops cannot guarantee.
How to help a teenager avoid the negative impact of social networks?
Most parents who have noticed a virtual addiction in a child mistakenly consider it their main mission to put the right thoughts into the head of an unwise child. To do this, you do not need to surround it daily with complaints, bans or take away the phone. It is necessary to properly convey to the adolescent all the information about the influence to which he unconsciously suffered. But this should be done with particular delicacy, emphasizing the child’s right to have their own interests.
You can avoid the negative impact of social networks by learning to benefit from them:
- Yes, in the virtual world, finding friends and expanding your social network is much easier. But why do we need acquaintances with whom it is impossible to go for a walk and talk in person? It is important for teenagers to understand that the real pleasure from friendship can be obtained without looking at the screen, but with real contact with the interlocutor.
- Social networks offer users not only communication. Here you can learn important news about what is happening in the world, find interesting facts from any area of interest, as well as properly organize your leisure time – a whole lot of interesting books, films or video tutorials are provided in free access.
- Using the Internet can help in learning. In social networks, there are many school groups that provide all the necessary information in a format that is understandable to adolescents.
In addition, parents should tell the teenager about the privacy that he loses by filling out a questionnaire and posting photos online. Thanks to publicly available information, any interested thief or fraudster can easily locate the child or other family members, as well as encourage an inexperienced teenager to engage in illegal activities.
To avoid negative influence, you need to distract the child from the use of social networks, maximally introducing him to the real world. To do this, you can often arrange family trips to nature, trips to cultural centers. Not superfluous will be the organization of leisure activities for a teenager with his peers (trips to summer camp, to competitions, etc.).