Social networks affecting adolescents health

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As technology keeps advancing in today's society, the dangers of social networks will keep increasing. Most people depend on technology, and with it comes the thousands and thousands of social networks that have become an addiction to society as a whole. It's become a necessity to become part of the social media world, and if an individual is not, they must be weird or from another planet.

So, what role does health play in all this?

Adolescents' overly excessive use of social networks is affecting their health. They are hooked to their phones, tablets, laptops and computers, and their world revolves around social networks. The obsession to communicate through social networks is causing obesity, cyberbullying, sexting, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, and decreasing their levels of communication.

Social networks are an open door for unnecessary health problems that could be avoided if adults would assume their role as parents, pay closer attention and enforce their authority on these adolescents. Authoritative figures such as parents and teachers do not seem to pay much attention to what social networks are influencing them. Research has shown that adolescents on average spend 8-9 hours a day surfing and conversing on social networks.

There are higher rates of obesity in the younger population due to this excessive usage. On their free time, they would rather stare at a screen than join a sports team or walk to their friend's house. And when invited to a party, they would rather see other people doing something instead of them doing something themselves. Research has also shown that social networks influence adolescents eating habits and body image.

There is less and less face-to-face communication with the younger generation; they would rather communicate with social networks and strangers instead of enjoying a face-to-face conversation where there is a deeper communication and understanding and where feelings are seen rather than being read on a screen.

These adolescents are also using social networks for cyberbullying and sexting. They go into these networks, harass and post or send other people mean, rude and offensive messages. Also, sexting is causing self-esteem issues in young ladies. They are not thinking about the consequences that come with conversing with strangers or taking personal, sexual images of themselves, sending them and trusting the other person to keep them to themselves.

Being young and in school, they are required to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep a day. But, due to the obsession of feeling like they need to communicate via social networks, they deprive themselves of sleep. They are suffering from sleep disorders, depression and anxiety. They are learning in school because they are too tired and fall asleep in class, or they are on their electronic devices communicating with their social networks.

What is mind boggling is the fact that everyone needs to start acting instead of criticizing one another and realize the negative impact it is causing and will keep causing the younger generation. Parents and teachers have the power and are responsible for their health and education. So, when will the government, society, teachers and parents put their foot down and set up rules, regulations and limitations on usage of social media networks for the younger population?

Article sources

The Digital Diet of the American Teen [Infographic]

http://www.livescience.com/52148-social-media-teen-sleep-anxiety.html

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