Currently, there are roughly 2.95 billion social media users worldwide. It’s safe to say social media has become a normal part of our daily lives. Although social media allows us to communicate with family members across the country and post pictures of that awesome vacation to the Bahamas for everyone to see, there are many growing concerns on the harm social media is causing to both children and adults.
Social Media Harms
- Disrupting sleep
- Online bullying
- Rumor spreading
- Unrealistic views of other people’s lives
- Heightened risk for mental health problems
- Body image issues
- Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
- Exposure to harmful or inappropriate content
- Exposure to excessive advertisements
- Identity theft
Best Social Media Practices for Your Health & Safety
Follow these tips to ensure a positive social media experience…
- Only accept friend requests from people you truly know
- Don’t post or send anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see
- Build a positive online reputation—something you would be proud to show your future employer
- Don’t compromise your identity—never post your address, phone number, etc.
- Be considerate of others when posting and interacting
- Only follow friends, family, and positive influencers that share your same interests
- Set up privacy settings and preferences for safer using
- Don’t post or respond to anything online when you are emotionally charged up
- Don’t tell the world where you are at all times—burglars take notice when you post about being on family vacation
- Don’t be afraid to report accounts you feel are unsafe or bullying others
- Remember, people are only posting about the good things in their life—NO ONE IS PERFECT!!
- Take a day off from social media
- Delete apps or people that contribute to an unhealthy body image or other feelings of inadequacy
Did You Know?
- 90% of teens ages 13-17 have used social media
- Teens are online almost nine hours a day, not including time for homework
- YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens
Are You Addicted to Social Media? Take the Quiz!
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research