Social networks have transformed the way young people communicate and relate today. However, the question arises: Are these changes beneficial or harmful to them?
A study carried out in the United Kingdom by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH), reveals that these platforms can generate depression, anxiety, sleep problems and insecurity in young people.
Cyberbullying is a reality
Facebook, being one of the oldest and most popular social networks, has provided young people with a platform to stay connected with friends and family, share experiences and express their identity. However, it has also been associated with problems such as cyberbullying and social comparison, where young people can feel pressured by the achievements and appearance of others.
Generation of quality content
YouTube, on the other hand, has been shown to have a positive impact on the mental health of young people. This audiovisual content platform has allowed young people to find inspiration, learn new skills and connect with communities of similar interests. In addition, YouTube has been recognized for its ability to provide support and awareness on issues related to mental health.
All for a 'like'
Instagram, a social network based on image sharing, has gained popularity among young people due to its visual and creative approach. However, it has been associated with negative effects, such as the influence on body image and self-esteem. Constant exposure to idealized and filtered images can lead to constant comparison and feelings of inadequacy in young people.
Disinformation that affects youth
Twitter, known for its microblogging format, has been a platform for expressing opinions and participating in current affairs conversations. However, it can also be an environment conducive to cyberbullying and the dissemination of misinformation, which can negatively affect the mental health and well-being of young people.
Anguish for not being always connected
Snapchat, an instant messaging and ephemeral photo sharing application, has been associated with the fear of missing social events and the pressure to stay constantly connected. Although Snapchat has improved social relationships outside the virtual sphere for some young people, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and exclusion when they feel excluded from certain events or activities.
Role of social networks in building social relationships
Despite the negative effects, it cannot be denied that social networks also play an important role in building social relationships.
For many young people, these platforms are a way to connect with friends, family and related communities. It is crucial to find a balance between the digital world and the real world, encouraging face-to-face interaction and strengthening social ties off the screen.
Influence of "influencers" and online social pressure
On social networks, influencers have a significant impact on the way young people perceive beauty, success and lifestyle. This can generate online social pressure, where young people feel obliged to follow certain standards and compare themselves with others.
It is important for young people to understand that images and messages on social networks can be edited or unrealistic, and that each individual is unique and valuable as they are.