Is Social Media Responsible For The Increase Of Mental Health Issues Among Young People?

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Is social media responsible for the increase in mental health issues in young people?

For the majority of my generation social media is an integral part of our lives. Since the invention of the smart phone we have only ever been a few clicks away from our friends and endless information. However, how is this affecting our mental health? On the one hand it can be argued that it is enhancing our communication skills yet studies have suggested that offline behaviours such as bullying are becoming more and more prevalent online.
With the dawn of social media also came cyberbullying. Unlike verbal and physical bullies, cyberbullies have the power of anonymity and omnipresence, which in some cases can allow them to be untouchable. One only has
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Hence it is unlikely that participants would be willing to reveal that level of personal information in a survey. Therefore, this study does not reflect the true number of the sample experiencing suicidal thoughts. One could argue that cyberbullying is not the fault of social media and if social media had not come about the other forms of bullying would just have increased in severity. Ybarra and Mitchell et al (2004) found that: ‘Students who bully online are more likely to report poor parent-child relationships and a lack of parental monitoring of online behaviour’. So surely the responsibility of the increase in mental health problems lies with the parents. The world is always adapting therefore, it is a parent’s duty to make sure that their children are taught the appropriate behaviours for any social setting.
Yet one could argue that social media provides opportunities for social interaction that those with mental illnesses such as social anxiety would not otherwise be able to have. 0.8% of the adult population suffers from agoraphobia, a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult. So one could argue that social media provides a lower pressure environment where at least the person is receiving some social interaction rather than none at all. Someone with social anxiety disorder is characterized as having a constant phobia of social situations in which they believe they will be
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