Memphis Social Media Lawyer
As our Memphis social media lawyer can explain, social media has quickly become integral to how we entertain ourselves, communicate, and interact with others online. Social media is a powerful tool that can leave a lasting impact on people. While there can be several positive factors to social media, it can also be deeply damaging and impact a person’s mental health. The team at Darrell Castle & Associates shares that while many people are reliant upon social media, it also raises significant concerns, especially regarding children and the impact it can have on their mental health.
Social Media and Children
Children are drawn to social media platforms to connect and engage with the world from the privacy of their homes. This became increasingly popular during the pandemic when people were isolated and relied on social media to connect with their loved ones. Common sites widely used by the younger population include:
While there are several benefits to these social media platforms, they can also be dangerous, potentially exposing children to things they should not have access to. Studies have shown links between social media use and common problems that may arise through its use:
Mental Health Issues
Social media has been associated with mental health issues in children, such as:
Poor Self Esteem
It’s common for children and adults alike to experience cyberbullying on social media. This harassment can cause emotional distress, lowered self-esteem, and deepened mental health issues.
The constant access to social media, especially before bedtime, can interfere with children’s sleep patterns.
Reduced Physical Activity
Excessive time spent on social media can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, contributing to childhood obesity and a decline in overall well-being.
Poor Academic Performance
Social media can impact a child’s ability to focus and concentrate, resulting in poor academic performance. Often social media is incredibly distracting both in the classroom and when trying to concentrate on homework or other academic-related tasks.
Exposure to Inappropriate Content
Without proper parental controls, children can be exposed to harmful or age-inappropriate content on social media platforms.
Children may not fully understand the implications of sharing personal information online, making them vulnerable to privacy invasions and identity theft.
Increased FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Seeing peers participating in activities can lead to feelings of exclusion, resulting in increased anxiety and stress.
Altered Reality Perception
The curated lives shown on social media can distort children’s perception of reality, leading them to develop unrealistic expectations for their own lives. The constant connectivity offered by social media makes it easy for children to compare themselves with their peers and even with celebrities. This comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
There has been increased scrutiny over the practices of social media companies, especially regarding how they handle the data and privacy of their underage users. One action being taken in the United States is a push from lawmakers and advocacy groups to update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Currently, this act only applies to children under 13. If updates are successful, the age limit could be raised to provide greater protection to teens, a group particularly prone to social media’s negative impacts. Despite the difficulties, the conversation around children’s mental health and social media is intensifying. It is becoming increasingly clear that policy changes and more robust regulations may be necessary to ensure the safety of our youngest digital citizens.
Taking Legal Action
Taking legal action against social media companies for the impact on children’s mental health is complex and will undoubtedly involve guidance from a social media lawyer. It’s essential to be aware that it can be challenging to attribute mental health directly to social media usage. However, a lawyer can be vital in outlining the appropriate next steps.