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Is social media making your child sad?

Is social media making your child sad?

Social media is one of the most popular and innovative ways of connecting with friends, family and fans. It enables users to share and create content but as mums we always have that one unanswered question, is it safe and healthy for our children?

In 2017 a study lead by The Royal Society of Public Health asked 1,500 young people aged 11-25 to track their moods whilst using five most popular social media platforms.

It’s proposed that Snapchat and Instagram were most likely to inspire feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, whilst YouTube had the most positive influence.

Seven in 10 respondents said Instagram made them feel worse about body image and half of 14-24 year olds reported Instagram and Facebook as being equal on including feelings of anxiety. Two-thirds also said Facebook made cyber-bullying worse.

In response to the case study GP, Rangan Chatterjee says he’s seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental illness in youngsters and their use of social media.

Sadly, one 16-year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E. So Dr Chatterjee suggested a solution - the teenager should attempt to wean his usage off social media, restricting himself to just an hour before he went to bed to see if it had a positive impact on his mental health. After six months he reported a significant improvement in his wellbeing which seems to point towards social media having had a negative impact on mental health.

If you feel like your child is suffering from a case of ‘social media sadness’ then here’s a couple of top tips for you to prevent it from happening:

• Keep an eye on how much your child spends online and insure it’s not interfering with activities such as socialising, exercising, eating and sleeping.
• Encourage children to use the internet for creative things like helping them with their homework and making their own content.
• Consider bans on devices at mealtimes and take them away an hour before bedtime.
• Finally, try chatting with teens/tweens about social media. Sometimes all it takes is a little reassurance from mum and dad!

To read the full story and find out more visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42705881 and let us know on social media (ironic we know) if you think social media can harm children’s mental health OR if you think if can help it.

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