As social media becomes more and more a part of our daily lives, the young generation Z is admitting they spend most of their time on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Now, a new study is shedding light on the possibility that heavy social media use could lead to mental health problems for these young people.
The Ottawa Public Health, the city of Ottawa’s agency for health information, programs and services, studied teens who used social media for more than two hours a day. They noticed these teens were more like to develop problems, such as physiological issues or suicidal thoughts.
Experts are pointing out that these findings could also mean that teens with mental health issues are turning to social media more.
“It could be that teens with mental health problems are seeking out interactions as they are feeling isolated and alone,” Dr. Hugues Sampasa-Kayinga, the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post in an email. “Or they would like to satisfy unmet needs for face-to-face mental health support.”
So, what is a solution to the problem? Some are saying that there should be more mental health platforms on social media sites. Maybe, if the users are more educated about the symptoms, they might be able to seek help.
“We see social networking sites, which may be a problem for some, also being a solution,” Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold of the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego said in a statement reacting to the study’s findings. “Since teens are on the sites, it is the perfect place for public health and service providers to reach out and connect with this vulnerable population and provide health promotion systems and supports.”
It is also important that parents stay involved in their teens lives, that way they can be aware when there are any physiological changes.