By: Tolu Owojuyigbe
Social media has created a very toxic community and environment for a lot of young people. It affects body image, mindset and presents a completely fake life that can only be achieved through Instagram.
It seems some people don’t know how to communicate in the real world now - the barrier between real life and virtual life has been destroyed. Teenagers would rather spend most of their time scrolling through their Instagram feed rather than being productive.
Eventually, social media just starts to consume you until it’s the only thing in your life that matters.
Once you get sucked into these toxic communities it's hard to get out, and you start to get addicted to it. Studies show that teens spend an average of nine hours a day on social media and kids aged 8 to 12 spend an average of 6 hours daily on social media. Most teens would admit that the time they spend on social media is already too much. Social media, it seems, runs most people's lives.
A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health shows that social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all cause depression, anxiety, poor body image, and loneliness. There's also a really big risk that comes with meeting strangers online; you can say anything to anyone and get no form of punishment when you're on the internet.
While there are some positive aspects to social media (it encourages advice and self expression, and sometimes it's an escape for most people from their daily lives), its potential to have long-lasting effects on young people's health regarding the way they think, act, and how violent they are, must be front and center.
The best way to counteract this problem is to heavily monitor our social media intake, what we’re watching, and how long we spend on apps.
Being on social social media at a young age creates your identity and shapes who you are. It's unfortunate young people will observe and imitate anything to fit into society.