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24 February, 2021 06:30:18 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 February, 2021 06:31:23 PM

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Social media addiction harming the youth

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, teens have got scopes to spend more times on social media as the education paradigm has shifted online. Most students have access to use smartphones during the new normal learning. But many times the young learners misuse the opportunity leading them to be addicted online
Alaul Alam
Social media addiction harming the youth

There is a long debate over the use of social media whether it brings good or bad impacts upon the users. Researchers have hinted that social media itself has no room to create any change.

It solely depends on how people interact with the phenomena. People of different age groups have different opinions about social media but one thing is very obvious that excessive use of social media turns the users addicted to it.

Could the people born before the digital era hardly imagine that the next generation would be the slave of digital advantage? Certainly, social media is an evidence of digital progress. But it has been an addiction for many.

Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, IMO, Instagram, and Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn and Viber are the common social networking sites what we call social media exposing a dire threat for the users obsessed with them. Amid all social networking sites, the use of Facebook has been so popular among the people of all walks and ages.

There are 36 million of social media users in Bangladesh. It is estimated that every social media user has at least one Facebook account. Studies show that the age group of 12-21 access to social media more than others. They are the vulnerable generation.

Researchers found that the youth have developed a style of language to communicate with their peers over social media. They are found to conceal information from their parents and teachers so that they use a special type of language exposing themselves to online platforms in many ways. 

With the ongoing digitization, internet coverage amid the country has increased manifolds. Of the total internet subscribers, the BTRC data showed that there were 93.681 million mobile internet users and 5.742 million broadband internet users and the rest were WiMAX users. The total number of internet subscribers reached 99.428 million at the end of December 2019.

According to statistics, the mobile internet users are the greatest in number, of who the majority are students, the sources said. The report says that up to March 2020, the number of Facebook users has reached to 22.2% of its entire population, of who the majority is men and the percentage including men and women is respectively 71.6% and 28.4%. People aged 18 to 24 were the largest user group.

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, teens have got scopes to spend more times on social media as the education paradigm has shifted online. Most students have access to use smartphones during the new normal learning. Parents find no alternatives to giving their children smartphones to continue their education. But many times the young learners misuse the opportunity leading them to be addicted online.

Studies reveal that the teens and youth check their phones upwards of 150 times a day. It is well documented that every youth spends more than 3 hours average in a day on social media. They do not want to miss any post by their peers; rather there is a constant competition to upload photos among themselves.

The youth are the greatest in number in using online platforms in the country and gradually, they are being isolated from the real touch of world. They are found behaving in artificial taste leading to the verge of extinction of moral values in them which accelerate in choosing self-destruction, feeling hollowness in their minds as they hardly downturn themselves from online stand. The situation is like that they start developing friendship online and also break up online and this tendency growing in them deters them to face the real world.

Recently, a video clip has got viral that a youth committed suicide after appearing in a Facebook live video at his house in Sylhet city in a huff with his girlfriend. Think how obsessed the youth are on social media! Along with behavioural change the youth are exposing frustrating consequences over the excessive use of social media.

The British novelist Howard Jacobson said children may be illiterate in 20 years' time due to the obsession of social media. The habit of reading books has declined alarmingly among the children globally as children in the present age prefer to using social media than studying. The children aging from 5 to 15 every week more than 20 hours spend on social media that is really alarming.

Studies reveal that 25% of all teens usually present signs of depression due to social media sites. But the percentage of teens suffering may rise with excessive use of social media. It gets more frustrating when we see that many are victimized by online aggression and cyber bullying. Most often dailies expose the news of tragic death of the teens due to cyber bullying.

Social media not only promotes the decline in mental health for many teens, but it can also negatively impact existing relationships with their peers and family members. Studies claim that the addiction to social media can impair physical, emotional, and psychological ability of the users exposing depression, anxiety, somatic complaints and many others.

Addiction to social media indirectly leads the youth to the addiction to smart phones, iPhones and laptops, etc.Studies have shown that blue-enriched light of these devices can suppress the body’s release of melatonin exposing health hazards.

According to the report of Pew Research Center, most educators feel students are more distracted than previous generations. This indicates that students of the present generation are becoming dull gradually due to online addiction.

However, to save the youth from this menace, family, society and the state can play an integrated role. Parents cannot deny their responsibilities in this regard. Until we realize the irreparable loss of the children due to social media addiction, it is tough to address the situation.

The writer teaches at Prime University. Email: [email protected]

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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