A recent survey that was presented at the last British Psychological Society conference shows that teenagers who give their Facebook and Twitter accounts too much attention and who spend significant amount of time checking their online profiles usually suffer from sleep problems, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.
One of the researchers, Heather Cleland Woods, said that the connection between sleep problems and social media use came to her very naturally as an obvious one. Indeed, some of the previous studies have showed that spending lots of time looking at the screen of your laptop or smartphone can easily affect your ability to fall asleep as well as to have a proper rest during the bed time.
The study involved 467 adolescents. They were asked about their emotional investment in social media, particularly how stressed they were while checking or renewing their profiles. Apart from that, the teenagers described their problems with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
There is a certain difference in the attitude to social media between teenagers and adult people. Pubescent minds are more sensitive and vulnerable, and therefore can be hurt more by the destructive power of media obsession. It looks like we have now a new generation of kids that have serious sleep disorders. They call it Generation Z, people who cannot live without Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other applications. They need to be almost constantly online otherwise they are stressed.
This issue actually works both ways. Obsession with social media can cause mental and sleep problems, while teenagers who are suffering from mental disorders are more likely to be dependent from social media. It could be that the cause of this vicious circle lies in the ability to fill the interaction gap if the teens are looking to escape their social isolation.
Of course, this relationship between mental health or sleep disorders and the use of social media is not so simple. Excessive use of Facebook cannot cause mental problems all by itself. But it can be a certain reason for concern, an indicator of some health problems.
Trying to solve the problem it is possible to use networking sites as a base for changing the teens’ attitude to the alternative social connections. If teenagers spend too much time in front of the screen, maybe, it would be wiser to provide this way health promotion supports.1 comment