Social including social networking and blogging that

Social media are forms of electronic communication including social networking and blogging that allows users to have the freedom to share and create content through the internet and participate in social networking. It is a dynamic form of communication that is increasing interconnectedness amongst the youth and a reported 91% of 16-24 year olds routinely use a form of social media. Many young people do not know life without social media and the generation of technological youth is referred to as the age of the ‘digital natives’. However, the increased usage of social media has been positively correlated with the increase in the prevalence of mental health problems among young people aged 16-24 as the rates of depression and anxiety have increased by around 70% over the past 25 years (The Mental Health Foundation. 2004). The most common mental health issues among young people that are linked to social media usage are Depression, Anxiety and Eating Disorders including Bulimia and Anorexia.
Nowadays the youth are spending lot less time with their families and spending more time on social media. Some young people are spending excessive amounts of time on the internet resulting in Social media addiction which is whereby an individual spends extended periods of time on social media to the point that it interferes with other parts of their daily life. Social media addiction is thought to impact 5% of 16-24 year olds (Jenner, 2015) and it has been reported that social media can have the same addictive effects that cigarette and alcohol have upon the body and that the stimulation that young people get from social media can equate to the effects of pleasurable activities such as sexual intercourse and eating.
Being addicted to social media can create a skewed view upon the world and a need for perfection. Such thought patterns and process can result in the development of anxious though regarding social media presence or the development of depressive thoughts such as not feeling as good as the people that they are seeing on the internet. Anxiety can have adverse effects upon the daily life of young people causing them to dread leaving the comfort of their one or the comfort of social media. Many young people that suffer from social media addiction may possibly see social media as being a form of escapism as they are able to be whoever they choose to be. However, such forms of escapism work in a vicious cycle s research suggest that young people that use social media heavily are more likely to suffer from poor mental healthy including symptoms of anxiety and depression. Being able to access the accounts of self-proclaimed “Instagram models” and celebrities that frequently posting luxurious lifestyles or heavily edited pictures causing despair when they compare their mundane lives to the ones that they are seeing. A small scale study that was conducted by Anxiety UK in 2012 found that there was evidence that suggested that social media was playing a role in the increased feelings of inadequacy that are becoming more apparent as the prevalence of social media is similarly increasing.
However, such studies into the effect of social media have limited generalisability to the young people. Not everyone that has access to social media will feel the same levels of inadequacy which can be supported by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) thinktank suggested that those classed as being “extreme internet users” were more than twice as likely to report being bullied compared to teenagers that were classed as more “moderate internet users”. Therefore, it could be suggested that the effects of social media are heightened by the individual choosing to spend more time on the internet. The effects of social media on the development of anxiety disorders have been linked to the use of social media but the teenagers make the conscious effort to indulge themselves in social media by creating an account and proceeding to follow other accounts. Furthermore, even though the fact that a third of young people in the UK have gained access to psychologically destructive content such as a social media accounts endorsing self-harm (Campbell, 2017) is a harrowing statistic, there is still two thirds of teenagers that haven’t had an access to such media. Therefore, it could be suggested that the negative impacts of social media are dependent upon the teenager’s anxious or depressive nature. For example, young people that are more anxious by nature are more likely to feel as though they need maintain an internet persona filled with perfection whilst a teenager with a biological predisposition for depressive tendencies may withdraw from family and friends and take comfort in social media relationships and presence. Therefore, possibly resulting in heightened anxious or depressive feelings in a vicious cycle of neglecting genuine care for the fake and temporary comfort that stems from social media.
Body image is a large issue for lot of young people but particularly females. However recently we have seen an increase I the amount of males suffering from body dysphoria, eating disorders and general unhappiness with the way that they look. Some studies have suggested that social media is a major reason for the increased number of young people deciding to undergo cosmetic surgery to appear more aesthetically pleasing in photos. Such decisions have undesirable repercussions for physical health through unnecessary and highly invasive surgery. It has been reported that around 70% of 18-24 years olds have considered having cosmetic surgery to seem more appealing to potential partners and the rest of the world (Royal Society for Public Health, 2017). Furthermore, with toxic fixation around likes and comments on pictures, many young people turn to Instagram models and influencer and want to follow in their footsteps to attain the widespread appeal that they have. Kim Kardashian was recently placed under a great deal of scrutiny for public endorsing appetite suppressant lollipops because the demographics of her followers are primarily young women. The curvaceous “womanly” body type that Kim Kardashian has is not attainable or realistic for many young women without spending extensive money on unnecessary cosmetic surgery. Therefore, by endorsing the use of use unhealthy weight management she is indirectly fuelling and reinforcing any body image issues that the young women may already.