Thursday, 15 March 2018 16:29

Is social media disconnecting us?

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As numbers of mobile phone owners rapidly rise, the spotlight is on social media.

By Ella and Jasmine

 

In recent years, social media usage has increased, especially in the younger generation, with 96% of 13-18 year olds using several social media networks.

Ironically, studies suggest people are becoming less socially active in real life due to their use of social media.  

The rise of social networking means a decrease in face to face interaction which can lead to underdeveloped social skills. 

In addition to this, social media seems to be exacerbating the need for validation from peers.  Many teens are becoming accustomed to measuring their self-worth by followers and likes.  

One student at CCHSG said she felt “trapped on the online world in an endless cycle of flawless models and picture perfect lives of friends.” 

Studies suggest that anxiety and depression are on the rise in teens, perhaps because of the pressure of seeking the approval of others. 

There could be some correlation with the rise in reported mental health issues and the rise and social media usage. Mr Nachman, a teacher of computer science at CCHSG, said that “social media could be detrimental to mental health if overused.” 

Experts say excessive use of social media can also make it harder for the brain to withhold information in your short term memory. Studies have revealed that the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds – one less than that of a goldfish.

We surveyed 50 students at CCHSG, aged 11-16. Responses show that 20% use social media for more than 5 hours daily.  Only 10% of students used social media for less than 30 minutes per day. 

 

Year 9 student Alice Mainwood said: “People are becoming used to expecting a fully loaded website within in the space of time it takes to blink. We are glued to our screens.”

 

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