Social media turned the online community upside down; it basically invented online social societies. Social media helped bring people closer, reconnect old classmates and find a long-lost relative. These platforms earned its power deservingly. Today it helped an unlimited number of people start new businesses until it became indispensable in every marketing strategy. However, this power has another dimension, one that’s been accumulating power over the years and is now beginning to affect people of all ages.

These negative social media statistics will put the power of these platforms into perspective. They will show us how their power surpassed its good benefits and how we must begin to work to mitigate the negative effects.

Negative Social Media Statistics: General Statistics

As we mentioned, both adults and youngsters can suffer from the negative effect these platforms can have on their life.

  1. Sixty-four per cent of social media users are between 50 and 64. While 86% of 18 to 29-year-olds have at least one social account. Eighty per cent of people between 30 and 49 use these platforms.
  2. On average, people spend nearly 1:45 hours on social websites per day.
  3. Twenty-two per cent of adolescents will suffer from severe mental health problems in their lifetime.
  4. Ninety per cent of teenagers believe online harassment is a major problem.
  5. Teenagers used social platforms more during the pandemic, which worried 63% of parents.
  6. Teenagers between 13-14 years old who spend more than 10 hours per week on social platforms are more susceptible to sad feelings.
  7. In the last quarter century, depression rates increased by 70%, which translates to one in ten people.
  8. Forty-five per cent of youngsters between the age of 10 to 19 said they’re online nearly all the time.
  9. Twenty-one per cent of adults inadvertently wake up at night to specifically check their online notifications.
  10. Seventy per cent of people check their online notifications every night after getting into bed instead of sleeping. Fifteen per cent of those people spend more than an hour online before sleeping.

Negative Social Media Statistics: Effects on Youth Mental Health

Social media, among other societal factors, was cited as one of the reasons that could exasperate feelings of depression and anxiety.

  1. Thirty-eight per cent of teens stated the negativity on social platforms affected them.
  2. More than 4 million youngsters between 12 and 17 experience depressive thinking.
  3. Unrealistic comparisons on social media platforms caused half of young girls to feel bad about their bodies; this percentage increases to 80% by the age of 17.
  4. Boys also suffer from social comparison, which makes 25% of them worry about their masculinity.
  5. About 30 million men and women are estimated to suffer from an eating disorder at one point.
  6. Pew Research Center narrowed forms of online abusive behaviours to name-calling, rumour-spreading, explicit images, tracking, physical threats and spreading images without the person’s consent. According to the centre, at least one in six teenagers suffers from these behaviours.
  7. More than 25% of teenagers stated they believed social platforms can have a negative effect.
  8. People in the age group of 16 to 24 spend an average of three hours a day online. The JAMA Psychiatry journal reported these teenagers are more prone to mental health problems.
  9. Around 20% of people who have at least one social media account have Social Media Anxiety Disorder. These individuals feel a strong urge to check their online platforms every three hours. This translates to five in ten women and six in ten men.
  10. About 60% of teens reported experiencing cyberbullying or a form of online harassment.

Negative Social Media Statistics: Teen Suicide, Self-Harm and Anxiety

Although there aren’t enough studies that directly link the rising suicide rates between teens and young adults, many suspect that negativity on social media platforms can cause these youngsters to feel worse, especially if they turn to social media for support or understanding.

Shocking Negative Social Media Statistics Expose the Dark Side of These Platforms
  1. Suicide is the second cause of death among youngsters and young adults between 10 to 24 years old.
  2. There’s been an increase of 40% over the course of the last decade.
  3. Almost one in 53 students attempted suicide and needed medical intervention.
  4. Between every 100 to 200 suicide attempts, one results in death.
  5. Anxiety will find its way to the mind of one in every six youngsters.
  6. The most common mental health disorder among youngsters is anxiety.
  7. Over the last 25 years, researches show that anxiety levels have increased by 70%.
  8. The covid-19 pandemic spiked anxiety levels by 25%.
  9. The highest age group who uses social media is from 12 to 25. Thirteen per cent of the age group of 12 to 17 suffered from depression, while 32% of them suffered from anxiety. While 25% of 18 to 25-year-olds suffer from some form of mental illness.

During the ominous isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health was a huge worry for parents. And despite the increase in global anxiety levels, social media helped youth reconnect with friends and family during the pandemic, hence reducing feelings of social isolation. On the other side, youngsters spent more time online during the pandemic; a great portion of teens felt down when they received fewer interactions than their peers.

Negative Social Media Statistics: Protect Yourself

We often focus on means to protect youth from the negative effects of social media and the neglect of adults. However, these adults are the ones building today’s world, and they must know how to protect themselves from these negative effects.

1.    Limited Social Media Time

It might sound trivial, or for children, but limiting the time you spend on social media will have unexpected results on your general mood, productivity and overall health. You can set a specified time for each day i.e. an hour a day, and divide it throughout the day, don’t spend it all at once. The less time you spend on social media, the better you’ll start to feel. This will give you time to tend to your commitments, go outside, stop procrastinating and be more productive. Whenever a chance comes to go out in fresh air, seize it.

2.    Notice how you feel when using social media

This is a great indication of the content you follow online because the vibe this content radiates will resonate with you. So, if you feel depressed, annoyed or angry after using social media platforms, you probably need to change the content you follow. The type of content you follow will affect you no matter how you see yourself, especially with the ongoing social comparisons in nearly every aspect of life.

3.    Banish Online Negative Content

Our advice is to unfollow social media accounts that focus on spreading negative experiences or speak negatively about life, even if you need to unfollow news accounts. It’s enough to know the headlines; you don’t need to live inside the events. Do bear in mind that however social media makes you feel, this will continue with you throughout the day and you’ll be transferring this negative energy to others as well.

4.    Most of Social Media is Staged

It’s rare to find organic social media content, one that hasn’t been refined or edited to remove imperfect aspects. This is why if the content you see makes you feel bad about yourself, then it’s probably not good for your mental health. You must know that even if the content or organic, it only represents the shrivel of that person’s life who felt they wanted to share a good moment with others online.

Negative Social Media Statistics: How to Protect Your Kids

It’s not difficult to notice how social media can affect your kids; the platform’s negativity will reflect in their behaviour. As a parent or caregiver, don’t underestimate the power of social media on your children, so it will help you better communicate with them and teach them how to protect themselves online. 

1.    Keep an Eye on How They Act After Using Social Media

You don’t need to read every comment or message your kids post online to know how they spend their time online. It’s enough for you to notice how social media makes them feel because this will reflect in their behaviour, whether good or bad. According to the National Center for Health Research, youngsters must report their age when creating a social media account, so it’s probable they will lie about this piece of information.

2.    Limit Online and Social Media Time

Sit together as a family and teach your kids how social media can negatively affect them, and set a daily time limit for them to spend online in general. Remember, the best place for kids is outside, so if a chance comes, take them out there.

3.    Work with Them to Set Rules for Social Media Use

Sit together as a family and create a family social media plan, one that reflects the characteristics of your family as a unit. This plan will include the appropriate and inappropriate things to do on social media and will help you focus on the positive effects these platforms can have on your kids.

4.    Without Invading Their Privacy, Keep an Eye on Your Kids’ Social Messages

You can achieve this by teaching your children about online messaging safety. They must know that when they send something into the social universe, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to take it back. So, teach them how to use the Privacy Settings in social media platforms but also be mindful of what they share with others. One shared photo can attract trolls and predators, so teach them to report any inappropriate messages, posts or comments they might receive.

5.    Lead by Example

Parents are the first teachers of every kid, and they immensely affect their behaviour throughout their life. So, if you set a timer on social media use, be the first to abide by it and, better yet, specialise some time to spend together every day. You can play games together, which will also strengthen your relationship with them.

Negative Social Media Statistics: How School Can Help

Parents and schools must work together to combat the negativity of social media on mental health. Hence, teachers also have a role in educating and protecting your kids.

1.    Teaching Social Media Manners

Bring social media into the class, talk and show the students how to use them appropriately. This will help students be more attentive to the positive impact these manners can have on them and help them avoid falling victim to cyberbullying.

2.    Learn the Signs of Social Media Abuse

Many teachers report that social media alters their students’ interactive skills. As a teacher, if you notice one of your students has become distant, lonelier or more anxious, you should consider social media as a reason. Listen to your students and let them know they can always seek help.

3.    Share the Good Vibes

Researchers pointed out those negative comparisons online are the reason behind adolescent depression and not the screen time itself, so if you can provide your students with beneficial and fun activities online, that would lessen the negative effect on them. Better yet, suggest physical activities to get them away from screens altogether.

Nearly every technology has two sides, and it’s about time we started working together to counteract the negative effects of social media on our lives.

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