image

Can social media have a negative impact on young people’s mental health?

Today is World Mental Health Day and the focus is on young people and mental health in the changing world.

Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. However, they can also be times of stress and apprehension. In some cases, if not recognised and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows.

Does spending too much time on Instagram and other social media platforms have the potential to negatively affect the mental health of young people? Whether it’s the influencer who owns an endless array of designer handbags, the personal trainer who’s fitted in a gym session before you’ve even woken up or the travel blogger that’s constantly hopping from continent to continent, regularly checking in with the platform’s millions of ‘inspirational’ posts, this could quickly make you feel pretty unblessed about your own life.

What are your views?  Do you have experience of any young people in your life experiencing mental health issues? How does your experience of growing up before the internet compare with the youth of today? Was mental health a topic of discussion in your day?

 

Can social media have a negative impact on young people's mental health?

94 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Onecott
13th Nov 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes definitely, for many young people it can make them feel even more isolated .especially if they already don’t feel like they fit in .
Barry Joe
28th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
young children must concentrate with their studies prior to success in life, rather than busy with the technology because this might affect them.
Yodama
26th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Technology is moving faster than our ability to understand the repercussions it brings, especially when it comes to youngsters. Constant bombardment of information and comparisons of who they should be, how they should think, what they should look like, has them confused and their self- esteem attacked.
My neighbour's 14 year- old girl recently attempted suicide due to bullying via her Cellphone.
It seems parents bow to their children's demands much too easily.

Contact with all and sundry is dangerous in the hands of young impressionable people, so why isn't there an age restriction to owning a phone or unsupervised access to internet.
I hate to bring up the "when we" thing, but when we were young we managed very well without gadgets, so why this madness now?
Everyone knows it is damaging our kids, time to say a firm NO.
Onecott
25th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
It can have a negative affect on all of us, but some younger people can be very vulnerable.
Anonymity can bring out the worst in people
Calli
22nd Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I do not recall the rates of depression being so high when I was younger, but could that be because we just did not talk about it?
Pete H
17th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
As with all things there are some youngsters that are negatively affected by social media and others that have mastered it's use for the good of their wellbeing and social lives.

The problem is that it is so difficult to break away from. All the social networks are designed to be addictive and so those with addictive tendencies will become hooked, potentially with negative mental health impacts.

I noticed that the recent update to Apple's operating systems have introduced a monitoring system the shows how many hours you are burning on mobiles and social media. This might be a wake up call to those that have been sucked in to constant screen staring!
Alicia
14th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Yes definitely because many young people believe all the trash that they read on there. Also they are wasting their lives stuck to a computer or smartphone.
Lionel
12th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Of course social media is having a negative impact on our young people's mental health. We can see huge differences between our grand children and ourselves at their age.

We dealt in reality. Socialising face to face, playing sport, going to football etc., usually in company of others. Us lads took girls to the cinema, shared a passion for an interest or just plain walked them home. But it was real and sometimes a little physical. Our grand children's generation has no such realities inside their digital world. No sheltering at a bus stop in the rain and ... or going swimming together. Their interaction with others is through a screen.

I believe our brains are hard wired to deal with reality. We have our senses, common sense, an inbuilt defence mechanism ... none of these are exercised in an online world. To expect our youngsters to negotiate this dangerous and untrodden path alone and remain unscathed is asking of them what even we could not do
shrew1742
12th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I am so, so glad that I was growing up and learning about life during the 40's, 50's and 60's. I truly have had a wonderful life, with hopefully another 12 years or so.

I am so, so glad that I am not a young person growing up in today's me, me, me, I want, I want, I want climate.

It's so much more satisfactory achieving something through hard work and kindness.
madmax
12th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I think social media has a lot to do with the mental health of young people today.
viking
12th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Constant communication with their own age group, and being flooded with false information it is a receipe for disaster. Most of the communication is not of a fully rounded type ie., older people and leaders as distinct from followers. This can only lead to problems for them in the future.
MandyJ12
12th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I think there is a new wave of identity politics sweeping social media and having a direct impact on young people. The emphasis is now very much on Gender rather than biology, which means if youngsters dont fit a gender stereotype they are classed as non gender conforming. Also, in current celebrity dominated culture the emphasis is very much about appearance, and again what is considered attractive stereotypes. The selfie obsessed social media promotes this relentlessy. As an older generation, we need to wake up to the enormous pressures that are happening around sex and gender. Youngsters are in danger of having their lives ruined by an ideology that has swept into all major institutions.
jeanmark
12th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Well said Mandy, however, one also has to accept that at last people can be themselves and not have to conform to societies norms of what is 'normal'. The problem is trying to get the right balance in what the individual feels and what they are being told they should feel, as this can lead to the individual becoming increasingly confused.
Billythequiche
10th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
With no face to face contact and no way to read expressions or body language/spoken language, it allows for the absence of empathy or self-censorship. It allows bullying and lying on a scale not known twenty years ago. The way it is used erodes what little ''English Language'' construction, punctuation and spelling is taught nowadays.
At its best it is a wonderful tool for family and friends to stay in touch; at its worst it is a forum for crime, porn and political extremism.
If you think that this is just the rants of a reactionary ''old fart'', ask yourself if you ever heard of a letter asking for a reply and including an intimate photograph, when it's developed.
Retiredyorkie
10th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I am no expert on mental health issues but I totally agree with LornaT13 certainly has hit the nail on the head.
LornaT13
10th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Young people are often lacking basic social skills such as verbal communication, face to face interaction and proper English grammar. They are not using their brains or personality to form social, work or personal relationships and they are often rude and lacking in empathy and understanding and all of this collectively often leads to lack of confidence, low self esteem and ultimately mental health problems and the figures in this respect speak for themselves. There is also often a lack of family communication and togetherness whereby children and young people are shut away in their bedrooms and left to their own devices as a result of parents being so self absorbed and wrapped up in themselves that they are able to create strange and virtual realities. There is no better way for a child and young person to develop than to experience life in its real form with real people and real experiences. The younger generations are sadly becoming automated robots with a poor and unpleasant attitude and questionable work ethic (because they have not experienced working in their school holidays or weekends to earn their pocket money). If they spent as much time experiencing just growing up and being a kid rather than constantly sat in front of a computer or physically attached to their phones, their future would be brighter and they would be social communicative people rather than the sad inept robots they are fast becoming. Manners and respect cost nothing yet they will never learn such things in any virtual world.
jeanmark
10th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Whilst agreeing with most of your comments, I am not sure all young parents should be labelled as being so self absorbed and wrapped up in themselves that they no longer communicate with their children. I know of a number of parents who have no option but to work, often in two jobs, just to survive. I accept this was the experience many of us had when we were young, but we were lucky in having closer communities than many have today.
Margaret Hart
10th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
The internet can have a very negative impact on young people’s minds in many ways. They can be bullied by people putting.nasty personal comments on as they can be threatening. AIso differing opinions which are not understood can be very confusing for a lot of people not just young ones. Anybody going on the r should realise that the information given is not automaticallye they either the truth or correct you have to use your own judgement as to what you think about it. If personal comments are made ignore them a whoever is making them does not have the guts to speak to you face to face they have to hide behind the secrecy of an electronic machine.
Wilf
10th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think it can as with all the photos that youngsters take of themselves it makes people who are not perfect (and lets face it that is most of us!) feel like they are missing out or even get depressed. Most youngsters see all the celebrities on social media and want to be like their hero's. It looks like everyone is having fun and a great life online.
LanceFogg
10th Oct 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Yes, definitely. It's already having an effect. It has created a generation of zombies who can't see further than the screen on their mobile or ipad. Just as Marley says, they think their world is there and never look outside it or past it. This leads to an incorrectly perceived view of the world. They only see and react to what they choose. Ask anyone under 25 what they think of politics in Brazil or sweatshops in SE Asia and most of them wouldn't have a clue what you're talking about
Mind you there's a significant proportion of the adult world who wouldn't have a clue either.
Wilf
10th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree to some of your points Lance but not to the fact that youngsters do not know what is going on. My kids and most of their friends have travelled a lot more than I ever have and have a sense of the world and get beamed up news constantly. I am always amazed at how knowledgeable most of that generation are. A lot more than us at that age with just newspapers and BBC & ITV news.
jeanmark
10th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Whilst agreeing with some of your points Lance, I know many younger people who are better informed on world events that I am and many who are trying to address some of the major issues facing the world today.
Marley444
10th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
I have a huge concern about how social media effects the youth of today for a number of reasons. Firstly the fake lives that some people post about, with images giving the perception that they are living the dream when in reality their life is something quite different. There is so much pressure on young people today. When we were young our social life was limited by location and the local circles we moved in. Today with the internet, people's life is lived and shared globally, and the pressure to belong is much greater. Secondly, my other great concern is the use of recreational drugs and how they are impacting mental health. I have heard about many young people who suffer from anxiety and are being treated for depression, and it does make me wonder what the cause/trigger is.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!