Why my parents are happy to keep me away from social media


I grew up “under the rocks”. Surprisingly, it was good for me.

Growing up with limited internet access, I was often embarrassed and jealous of other girls who “didn’t live under the rocks”. I was a prolific email and g-chat girl while my friends surfed YouTube, Omegle, Instagram, and Snapchat.

I was tired of writing it. Thinking back to the days of Gmail and Google Chat, I alternate laughter and confusion. During this time, I continued to faithfully interact with friends who were kind enough to go the extra mile to stay in touch.

At the time, I said that Jack and Jill broke up again as friends and acquaintances took pictures together while playing sports, “tagged” each other in posts and rumors about what Susie was wearing. Can you believe it?

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Back then, I didn’t know what the blessing was in enjoying childhood without the stresses, anxieties, and sadness that social media often brings. Without being embarrassed by the expectations and nature of social media consumption, I had more time for real, direct, screenless dialogue. I have more time to do my favorite nerds, like rereading “Anne of Green Gables” 10 times.

Are social media so bad?

Facebook has studied the impact of photo sharing apps on viewers over the past few years. According to the Wall Street Journal, research naturally shows that Instagram has a negative impact on millions of young people, especially teenage girls.

Citing internal Facebook research, Instagram’s algorithm “may send teens to eating disorders, unhealthy body feelings, depression” at the end of photos and videos. Promotes the absence of flow. Instagram has exacerbated the body image problem for one in three girls, and teens have consistently blamed the app for the increase in anxiety and depression.

Conversely, children who experienced technical withdrawal had better nonverbal cues and better equipment to accept delayed satisfaction or actively engage in the world around them. Studies have shown it.

Tech giants have demonstrated that they are aware of the shortcomings of the applications they create. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, restricted the use of technology by his children and prevented them from using the iPads created by his company. Microsoft founder Bill Gates didn’t let kids have phones until they were at least 14 years old. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has expressed concern that his daughter will grow up with the epidemic of bullying and bullying on his platform.

Former Facebook executive Chamat Palihapitiya feels “enormous guilt” for helping to create and promote Facebook’s success. He said Facebook is so damaging to society that he won’t let his kids use it.

Who knows the subject better than its creator? The concerns of high-tech elites about social media are very clear.

Social media exacerbate mental health problems

Information like this may surprise some people, but my first reaction to reading this is… well, obviously!

The explosion in the popularity of social media is undoubtedly affecting the increase in eating disorders, depression and suicide.

Even the most prolific Instagram users testify that social media can be incredibly toxic. Nevertheless, unfortunately, many teens lack the self-control to quit the app.

Girls are obsessed with the desire to be as beautiful and skinny as unrealistic images that spend hours scrolling, or to have as much fun as other people their age. The Journal cited Facebook’s survey of teenagers in the US and UK as saying many Instagram users felt “unattractive”, “not enough” or anxious about the friendship. after using the app. I bring.

Young people are under a lot of pressure to do more exciting things and make as many good friends as anyone else. Don’t worry if your online friendship is secretly fake and maintained just for that group photo with hundreds of likes.

The girls say they understand social media is a facade and nothing is as good as it looks, but they still find it hard to believe it. To make matters worse, their desire to adhere to incredibly high standards keeps them from being content with their bodies, lifestyle, and relationships. They transform into their “online version” and experience anxiety and depression when they realize that they cannot keep up with their carefully curated online images.

Childhood innocence is let go as a 12-year-old girl faithfully follows a makeup tutorial and wears trendy clothes that mimic the sexy women she’s seen online. Packaged photos, fad diets, and seemingly perfect models online contribute to girls’ eating disorders. Eating disorder experts at Johns Hopkins Hospital have estimated that nearly 50% of its patients have developed eating disorders from social media.

Move forward with positivity and hope

Fortunately, users are starting to recognize the detrimental effects of Instagram. Some influencers focus on reality, such as posting unedited photos with photos fitted to the face or unmasked photos with posed photos. He gains popularity by hitting him. Through such transparency, they want to convey the message that life online is unrepresentative and that it is unusual for it to resemble Victoria’s secret model.

Social media has good potential and is not unhealthy for all users. It’s a great way to amplify your political, religious, and personal beliefs. Innovative technology has enabled social media to deliver news and information in an easily digestible format. It’s a powerful way to connect people, but of course it can be incredibly fragmented. It’s also a fun way to keep in touch with your friends and share your favorite photos and memories.

I downloaded Instagram at the end of my third year of high school. After the application to the university is fulfilled according to the rules of the parents. Like everyone else, the ups and downs of the app have warned you not to take what you see online seriously.

Admit that you like to use filters and take “cute” photos with your friends. It’s fun to see what your family and friends are up to, and find recipes, trainings, craft ideas and more in the app.

However, some are only moderately sweet, like eating too much of your favorite treat or watching your favorite TV show. Social networks are no exception.

Teresa Orohan is an opinion member of the USA TODAY Editorial Board and a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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