Today’s teen is exposed to a massive amount of technology. With that technology usage comes the ability to connect to people in a multitude of ways. Social media apps, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow teens to share every aspect of their lives. This constant ability to share has severely impacted the state of teen mental health.
Facebook and Instagram have announced a new tool that will limit the amount of time teens spend on their apps. The new tool allows parents to check how much time teens have spent scrolling, set reminders for when to stop, and mute notifications for a set time. The two companies are using their platforms to help improve teen mental health with these time constraints. In the wake of a higher number of teen suicides, Facebook and Instagram want to find ways to reduce the effect social media has on teens.
In December of 2017, Facebook recognized the negative mental effects of spending too much time on their site. They sponsored a short-term study that found people who spend more time on the website were in a worse mood than when they started. The survey also found that teens do not realize how these platforms truly affect their mental health. They also do not see the amount of time they spend scrolling through their feeds.
Teens are even more susceptible to the mental effects of social media. Extended use of these apps negatively affect teen mental health. There have been increased cases of cyberbullying, severe depression, and suicide due to the use of Facebook and Instagram. Not only does it affect mental health but scrolling through social media profiles is a huge waste of time. Social media has become an addiction for many as they feel there is a need to be on it. A lifestyle vlogger noted that the timing tool would be helpful because it would make her more aware of her social media usage.
Parents are urged to find ways to help improve their teen’s mental health. With the barrage of technology and social media platforms, parents can reduce teen’s usage and find other ways for them to connect. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram are helping teens by limiting their usage of the app. It will not solve the problem, but it is a step in the right direction.
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