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Is Social Media Detrimental For Child's Health?

Update Date: Feb 06, 2017 08:00 AM EST

In a generation where the internet has become a vital part of everyday life, it is important to know the effects of Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms to our mental health. Recent studies reveal that social media is detrimental to a child's mental health.

The Guardian recalls an incident back in April 2016 where a young teen, Felix Alexander, took his own life after experiencing relentless bullying in school and in social media. The teen's mom revealed that his son's bully initially was unkind and isolated him. Later, social media made Felix's bullies became more cruel and overwhelming.

Statistics claims that cyber bullying is very common in children aged 11 t0 17. In a poll conducted by McAfee, 35 percent of the respondents experienced cyberbullying, a big jump from earlier polls recorded at 16 percent. An organization even saw a huge increase in the number of times cyberbullying is googled on the search engine during the start of the school year.

Experts also further explain that unlike the usual bullying kids encounter, there is no safe place for cyber bullying. Because of technology, a child may not be able to escape his or her bullies even at home due to social media, thus being continuously exposed to the risk. Nowadays, cyber bullies can be anyone, even people you barely know.

Huffington Post explains the effect of social media. It can facilitate in sharing information but can also be problematic in spreading rumors during normal health events and health crisis. It can be used to disseminate information by some can corrupt its use to promote false information. It can be used as a platform for public campaigns but can be subjugated and used for bullying as well.

Even with its benefits, such as an effective resource for information for clinical practice and research, there is not denying to the negative effects of social media and cyberbullying to a child's mental wellness. Thus, it is important to engage medical and social professionals in online discussions and groups to provide a better perspective in handling and dealing with the mental health challenges that come with the use of social media.

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