Social Media Effects

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Being born in Generation Z has caused today’s teenage population to be afforded to the wealth of opportunities that social media presents. However, it is important to acknowledge social media as not only an asset but a liability as well. With the emergence of social media, the average age of social media users has steadily been on the decline. Teenagers are the most avid users of the platform, so this in turn makes them more susceptible to the negative effects of the social network. These negative effects are not only mentally dangerous, but physically dangerous as well. Social media’s repercussions range from the development of Body Dysmorphic Disorder and psychological stress to the restructuring of the human brain. The popularization of…show more content…
The popularity of social media has transformed the platform into a trigger for the development various body image disorders, causing a major negative effect on the mental health of teenagers. Many forms of mass media such as television and magazines have been enforcing an “ideal”, thin figure when describing beauty for a long time. One of the most dangerous aspects of social media is the prominence of body shaming and slut shaming on the platform. Due to the anonymity of social media, it is incredibly easy for any user to degrade and damage another user’s self-esteem by making fun of their appearance. This could range anywhere from calling a user fat, ugly, or a…show more content…
Teenagers in specific feel the brunt of these negative effects due to the fact that their brain is not yet fully developed. As previously mentioned, there is a social pressure existent for teenagers to post about their “perfect” and “exciting” lives on social media. Teenagers do this in order to gain a sense of recognition from their peers and other users on the platform. This recognition affects the brain’s reward center as the “nucleus accumbens lights up when people receive likes on social media” (Cummings 1). This reward center acts as a reinforcer for teenagers to continuously post on social media and use the social network in general. With constant use of social media, the brain’s reward center has constant activity. This constant activity in turn causes teenagers to form an addiction to social media, social media addictions are now “more prevalent than the addiction to cigarettes and alcohol” (Cummings 1). Like any addiction, there is physical and psychological dependence than can branch from it. The dependence that can branch from an addiction to social media can severely damage the physical and mental health of a teenager. Obviously in this situation, social media is a direct stimulus for the addiction. Therefore, the popularity of social media has caused people to form an addiction to the social
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