You might be wondering why your teenage children are under a lot of pressure, stress and why they are missing out a lot of sleep. The answer is a lot easier than you might think: it is because of social media. Teenagers nowadays are 100% invested into their online image. They check out everything that is going on online and they want to participate and, according to specialists, this leads to a lot of stress.
Being on Facebook is stressful, especially when you are young. With so much time to spare, the majority of teens are very interested in how they look online. The avatar needs to be perfect, if you have a nickname it has to be a really cool one and you pretty much have to go to any event that you are invited to. It works the same for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pintrest, anything.
If you do not participate in online activities when you are young, you are labeled awkward, or at least this is what teenagers think. The internet is a big place and the general assumption is that if you are on the internet, everyone knows who you are, but the truth is that not many people care unless you are Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian.
But the constant thought of not participating makes teens lose sleep and be under a constant amount of pressure. Specialists consider this type of approach as “the fear of missing out” and they are right about it. In a teenager’s head, it is awkward if the internet doesn’t know what you are doing right now. So you can waste a good amount of time on social media.
New research has confirmed this knowledge and scientists have begun looking more thoroughly into the issue. Approximately 470 students were studied in a study conducted by Dr. Heather Cleland Woods and Holly Scott, both researchers from the University of Glasgow. The study implied that these students answer questionnaires related to their sleep quality, depression, self-esteem and anxiety.
The students were in between the ages of 11 and 17 and while the questionnaires were, more or less, self-reports, the researchers are confident that the results reflect reality. It was concluded that social media pressures teenagers to spend as much time as possible online, making their online image a number one priority, above sleep or health.
The result should be taken as a warning for both teenagers and their parents, who should take a closer look at how much time their offspring are spending on social media.
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