By Paishance Welch
Could it be? One of the world’s most popular apps has been deemed the worst app for tweens in the past two years, according to the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK.
With over 700,000,000 users worldwide, Instagram’s photo saturated hosting platform has impacted many user’s health and wellness. This includes anxiety, depression, self-identity and perspective of body image. What does this mean? As a parent, caregiver, this means you should be very concerned.
Last week, we spoke about how peer pressure & negative influences can be detrimental to your child’s mental growth and the growth of others. Negative influences don’t always happen in the classroom. They can also happen virtually and sad to say, Instagram is one of those many virtual sources that contribute to negative impact on the mental health and wellness of our youth. The biggest influences being with Instagram models, both male and female.
It is important to understand that social media, in general, is not a terrible thing, however, it is when your children are being influenced by photoshopped and unrealistic model photos on their social media timeline. Today’s acceptance is measured by how many ‘like’ and ’comments’ one can get on any given post.
A click and a share seem to inspire tweens to behave and or act in a certain way that normally they would not.
Photoshopped and altered pics on Instagram can easily make a young girl feel like her body is not good enough. Young men also have had experiences with being influenced negatively by unrealistic and edited photos. This starts an irreversible chain of insecurities, low self-esteem and even depression.
Unfortunately, this is the cyber world we live in. Connection with self and with others have become less face to face and more virtually dependent. It has also affected the way we look at others and ourselves. As friends and family of these social media dependent lovable tweens, we must do our best to keep their minds filled with positive and encouraging words.
Many times we see our youth turning to the wrong people for role models and these people are usually found online. The minute you notice change in your tweens language, or choice of clothing, maybe tons of make up or crazy hair cuts, try to get into their mental state and see what’s causing them to venture off into these new trends.