In the past, both experts and studies have revealed that social media can have negative effects on users, especially children. While this is always a consideration in children’s behavior, especially for parents and pediatricians — a recent study, “Status of Mind,” published by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), outlines just how harmful social media can be on a developing child’s brain, and why.
In brief, the study found that the most damaging social media platforms to an adolescent’s mental health are Instagram and Snapchat. RSPH, a public health awareness organization, found frequent use of social media was linked to an increase in depression, poor sleep, cyberbullying, FoMO (Fear of Missing Out), and anxiety in young people.
The organization surveyed 1,500 people ages 14-24 across the United Kingdom and found that 91% of 16-24 year olds use social media, and that anxiety and depression rates have increased 70% over the past 25 years.
The recent Status of Mind study reveals information that EVERY parent should be aware of, and able to act on. Children who use social media platforms regularly could be at a higher risk for depression and anxiety, as well as other issues including insomnia. Concerned parents can learn more about the affect other social media platforms can have on their children.
Being informed is the first step, being proactive is the second. Here are a few tips to monitoring your child’s social media use.
- Only allow your child to use social media at home so that a parent can monitor their usage.
- Know the usernames and passwords to all of your child’s social media so you have access to their accounts at ALL times.
- Approve the pages/people your child follows and those they accept friend/follower requests from.
Besides these tips, there’s an easier way to monitor a child’s social media use. It’s cell phone monitoring software such as Highster Mobile. This type of software can notify parents of all of your child’s online activities, including social media. So if you want to track what social media channels your child visits, who they are in contact with, and what pages/posts they are viewing, monitoring software is the perfect solution.
Interested in the Status of Mind study? View the video below!