The rise of smartphones has led to “Text Neck Syndrome”, where social media can be a real pain in the neck. As we use our mobile devices more, our postures and alignments could be affected.
This is only one concern about social media’s impact on modern life. Teens’ mental health can be affected by excessive social media usage.
Students of college age are using social media to spend as much time as an hour per day. It can be difficult to stop or limit the amount of time you spend on social media.
According to Dr. Mary Jean Amon of School of Modeling, Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida, “Social media can prove to be an extremely dangerous tool for college students.
Research shows that excessive use of social media can lead to poor mental health as well as impairments in academic performance.
All students who struggle with mental health issues should seek out professional support from their universities’ counseling and psychology services. They are equipped to handle specific college student problems.
Amon said, “I encourage parents to have constructive discussions and show empathy in considering the experiences of their kids with social media.” Social media can be a great way to communicate with young people but it’s not always simple.
How social media can be used responsibly
Cutting out social media entirely may not be the answer for most college students, especially as more Gen Zers use it as a primary means of communication – as opposed to email or phone.
You can limit the amount of time you spend on social media, and keep to your schedule. “Both Androids and iPhones can display information in the settings. This allows you to see how long you spend on each app and your screen time per day,” Dr. Mai-Ly Nguyen Steers (assistant professor at Duquesne’s School of Nursing).
Nguyensteers said that Forest apps can also help youth kick their phones addiction by giving credits which can be used to plant trees.
Youth can take steps to improve their mental health, such as unplugging for just a few minutes and going outside.
According to Nguyen, Steers, “Getting our Vitamin D in the calm of a park, or watching the ocean crashing can be a great way to reset your brain and make you more awake, alert, connected, and refreshed.”
Additionally, social media can be used primarily for connecting with family and friends. This helps to maintain close social connections that help to boost mental health.
Amon added that mindfulness and optimism can also be helpful in improving mental health. According to students, privacy and boundaries regulating tools on social media can also be beneficial.