According to CNN, the average teen spends about an average of 9 hours a day on social media that is nearly 38% of the day. One has to wonder whether or not that time used with ill intentions. Many teens have access to social media sites, many of which have a negative psychological effect on teens, such as their addictive nature, heighten shorter attention spans and altering ones personality
Social media seems to have made an addicting impact on teenagers. Many teenagers spend so much time on social media, they found a dependency and addiction on social media they have a hard time to stop.
According to one student this addiction even affected her schoolwork, “Duley first noticed the effects of social media when they began to impact her grades. She admits to being "so plugged in" that she would check Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter several times a day. “I realized that I was getting nothing accomplished by sitting there and doing nothing (productive)," she said. "I needed to get out and do something else.”
Many students face the same problem of getting off their phone. Although people say using social media is a necessity and that’s why they spend so much time on the sites, people still can’t get off, “A study used data from a site called 99DaysofFreedom, which encourages people to stop using Facebook for 99 days.
The site and study are interesting because they reveal the difficulty people have quitting Facebook because of addiction. Participants intended to quit, wanted to quit believed they could quit, but many couldn’t make it more than a few days.” The study shows even though people wanted to quit they couldn’t quit, even if it is a necessity.
Social media also takes the blame on contributing to shortened attention spans. Many teens these days seem to have a shortened attention spans, "Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms. The results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds."
The study shows a decrease of attention spans starting when the internet shows up, the effects on teens' attention spans might be even more shocking considering they spend the most time on social media sites. A shortened attention span might lead to less academic success through lack of concentration, this would affect the teens ability in general to be successful in life.
Although many would argue a "short attention span" is an excuse to a lack of interest and being lazy, therefore having no effect on ones psyche.
While this may be true a shortened attentions span can lead to other problem as well, such as misinformation, "You see it in our politics, with fear-mongering slogans replacing anything that requires sustained thought... collapse of a fact-based democracy, where, for example, 60 percent of Trump supporters believe Obama was born in another country, has to be a byproduct of the pick-and-choose news from the buffet line of our screens."
Many people believe in any interesting or flashy fact without bothering to fact check it, thus creating another issue of misinformation or fake news.
Lastly social media can upset ones view of themselves and hurt self-esteem. One such problem is comparing others to themselves, "We tend to compare ourselves to others on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat, though Facebook and Instagram (the most visually striking) seem to be the chosen platforms for seeing how we line up. It’s a natural human instinct to judge our progress or success in life by seeing how we match up against others".
The ease of comparison might be little ones view of themselves even though the comparison is not necessarily true, or unfair to make, such as comparing teens to models, which obviously is an unfair comparison.
Social media, although a useful tool to connect and spread information can also have negative effects as well. Such negative effects are psychological such as having and addiction, short attention span, and self-image of oneself. Many of these problems, however catastrophic can be quite easily avoided by putting down the electronic and spending more time outside the screen. So, put your phone down and see the world.