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Social Media is fucking up your kids!

Other | Thursday 20th July 2017 | Idrees

Social media is a very powerful platform. Whether it will be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, it has never been easier for someone to broadcast their lives out to the world.

One status update or a selfie, and bam! It’s all over the internet for everyone to see.

Surely social media is a good thing then right? If I’m able to instantly broadcast a message out to the world or communicate with anyone with such ease, there should be nothing wrong with that?

Well, with great power comes great irresponsibility. Social media has become such a powerful tool, that it has in fact shaped how kids view their lives.

How might you ask? Well, nowadays kids seek approval via social media. We live in a world where follower counts and likes determine a person’s image. To the point where social media can create fame for a 'lucky' individual.

However, findings from the anti-bullying charity, Ditch the Label, show that due to this reason, social media makes youngsters more anxious.

40% mentioned that they feel discouraged if their selfies have no likes and 35% mention that their confidence is directly correlated to the number of followers they have.

Now, factor in how much kids are on their phones or the computer. The majority of the time they’re on these devices, they’re checking any form of social media. So, if they browsing through social media and feel discouraged by the lack of followers and no likes on their selfies, this could lead to a serious issue.

Unfortunately, society today has been programmed to hold great value to these insignificant figures. At the end of the day, these followers won’t be with you at all times in your life. And a like on your selfie won’t change anything.

With that being said, there are those who found 'success' using social media and have let it get to their heads way too much.

The truth is that your social media account is quite literally a mask for your life. Almost everyone instinctively posts their 'best moments' and 'prettiest selfies' on their accounts.

But it is just merely an illusion.

Still, this is not the only issue with social media, according to research, 42% of people between the ages of 12-20 reported to being bullied on Instagram. 37% were bullied on Facebook and 31% report being bullied on Snapchat. From those asked, 50% report to being bullied which is definitely worrying.

And in a selfie-centric world, 50% of those who had been bullied reported that they were bullied about their appearance.

With social media being a platform available to anyone and easily accessible, 24% of those bullied said that they had their private information shared online. And 27% had photos and videos shared against their will. 

So how can we change this?

Firstly, kids & adults must realise that their social media profile is NOT who they are.

We should post great memories and events on social media and by all means, keep on doing so. But don't try and seek validation through the amount of likes you get on you selfie or compare your life to another persons 'best-edited pic' of the day. 

Place the power back in your hands and enjoy social media, for what it is best for, sharing memories with the people that care about you. Cause if you begin to live life wondering what will make your 'followers' happy, things won't end well.

At the end of the day, you hold your own happiness in your hands and it shouldn’t be controlled by anyone else.

Lastly, social media accounts must do a better job monitoring cyber-bullying. Platforms like Instagram have noted that they encourage users to report bullying content. This is definitely the first step and hopefully, Instagram & all other social media platforms will continue creating new ways to make their platforms safe for everyone.

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