Social media helps us in so many ways. We can research online in seconds, we have limitless resources to all the information we need, we can create access to a real-time news and current events, we can pay bills, do marketing, communicate with our family and friends from different parts of the world without spending a penny, and the list goes on. Social media does offer many benefits to our lives, but there is a darker side to it, especially for the young. Over the past decade or so, social media researchers have found that ties to mental health and personal fulfillment among younger audiences has been affected by what happens online. To see how one can be aware and learn to counsel children and teens affected by social media’s negative impacts, read on.
Mental Health Issues
If you are not yet aware, Cyberbullying can cause mental health concerns in children and teens. Most teens have experienced cyberbullying in some fashion or another. This is very alarming because such forms of peer bullying and pressure may lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and eventually may lead to suicidal thoughts. Teen happiness frequently shows correlation to the number of likes and comments they have on social media. According to some studies, teens who use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites tend to have attention deficit issues caused by overexposure to the cyber world.
Learning how to counsel younger students and teens who might be affected by this unseen negative peer presence is important to those in the counseling and teaching professions. Institutions such as Bradley University Online offer counseling degrees that can help adults have a firm foundation for changing times.
Decreased Levels of Contentment
While there are so many interesting ways to spend time on the internet, younger audiences are prone to think less of their own lives because others have an ideal life on social media. They start to compare social profiles and, later on, their level of contentment decreases. With the influence of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter among others, the tendency to keep up with the latest trends can lead to empty personal fulfillment and pointless materialism. Learning to help young adults wade through the barrage of advertisements and profile comparison conversations is important for those wishing to counsel them to a better stage of life.
Hackers are everywhere nowadays. Online predators (sex offenders) tend to look for young teens to lure in for nonconsensual sexual activities. If you are involved in counseling and become aware of young adults being targeted by older adults for inappropriate meetings of an explicit nature, having the appropriate background in knowing how to explain and handle this is of top importance. Organizations such as Bradley University can aid in this to make sure that you have the best foundation for your work in these scenarios. Helping younger generations understand the actions they must take to ensure their privacy and security is paramount to their well-being.
Young adults and children are naturally curious and social media can be a great way for them to explore, learn, and express themselves given reasonable restrictions to supervise them. Social media has its own pros and cons for every generation, but for the youth of today, it can have detrimental impacts. For those aware of this and helping to prevent and heal the impacts of exposure of this kind, gaining knowledge in counseling is essential.