Dangers of Social Media/Internet on Children

Sylvia McCrory / 2020

In this post, I am going to focus mainly on the harmful effects of social media to children’s health and emotional wellbeing.  The world of the internet has changed rapidly in the last few years and continues to grow at a rapid pace.  For most of us, trying to keep up is almost impossible.  So, the question becomes how are we going to protect our children from this threat? I want to focus on some specific problems and suggestions to help limit these problems.  

First let’s look at some alarming statics.  According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal report Smartphones, social media use and youth mental health released in February 2020, the number of hospitalizations of teenagers for intentional self-harm has increased 110% from 2009 to 2014, with suicide being the second cause of death of young people in Canada. In all the studies, the number of girls were higher than boys. Another important finding was the number of young people attempting suicide by poisoning has also increased in 10-18-year-olds. The report found similar findings in the United States.

Numerous studies are now pointing out the correlation between the use of social media and depression and suicide in children.  The dangers for girls are more prevalent than boys, although we should be careful to minimize the dangers to boys.  The number of young people, ages 13-17 in the US using smartphones has grown to 89%, with 70% of those using social media multiple times each day. Children are becoming addicted to social media due to a “fear of missing out” (FOMO).  

Below you will find some of the negative aspects on social media and children.


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