By: Jamahl Hokstam
Social media addiction is a real thing. Many of us use social media platforms to stay connected with our friends and family. However, when we consume too much of it, it can become an addiction.
While there are some great pros to using social media, the cons outweigh the pros severely. Social media actually promotes antisocial human behavior.
Teens blame Instagram and other social networks for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.
According to Pew Research Center, 40% of adults say they use Instagram, and about three-in-ten report using Pinterest or LinkedIn. One-quarter say they use Snapchat, and similar shares report being users of Twitter or WhatsApp.
TikTok is used by 21% of Americans, while 13% say they use the neighborhood-focused platform Nextdoor.
More than 40% of Instagram users who reported feeling “unattractive” said the feeling began on the app. About a quarter of the teenagers who reported feeling “not good enough” said it started on Instagram.
A spokesperson from the 5Rights Foundation stated that “In pursuit of profit, these companies are stealing children’s time, self-esteem, and mental health, and sometimes tragically their lives. It is time to optimize for the safety, rights, and well-being of kids first – and then, only then – profit.”
What Is Being Done To Combat SMA
Utah has officially become the first state to place a 10 PM curfew on social platforms for anyone under the age of 18. Wisconsin’s teenagers could see their access to social media limited under legislation being considered at the state Capitol.
In an effort to address mental health concerns stemming from overuse of popular platforms and to keep children safe from bullying, harassment, and even trafficking. Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, says he’ll sponsor a bill that would give parents full control over their kids’ social media accounts and impose a curfew for social media users under 18.
Overall, social media has become a significant part of our daily lives, and its impact is both positive and negative. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the downsides, especially for our youth. As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, rights, and well-being over profits.