子供、スマートフォン、社会的な承認 Kids, smartphones, and social approval





According to statistics obtained from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 10 teens in the age group of 15-19 years has tried to commit suicide.



  • commit : [verb] 任せる、委託する。実行する
  • disturbing : [adj] 心配にさせる。不安にさせる、心配する
  • behavior : [noun] 行動。人が行動する方法
  • approval : [noun] 承認、認定。誰かまたは何かが優れているという意見
  • community : [noun] コミュニティ。同じ特性を共有するより大きな社会に属する人々のグループ







Kids, smartphones, and social approval

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat: These are all-too-familiar social media platforms for kids of this generation.

Half of the world lives on such sites. The number of ‘likes’ accounts for the number of admirers one has. On the other hand, lack of appreciative comments on their posts sends innocent teenagers into a downward spiral of anxiety and depression.

A number of studies conducted over months have conclusive proof that teenagers look for validation on these social media websites. This claim is supported by a research letter published recently in the Journal of American Medical Association.

Self inflicted injuries, suicidal thoughts, and number of cases reported for anxiety and panic attacks have shot up 18.8% since 2009. But the glaring questions still prevail:

Why are the numbers shooting though the roof anyway?

Why are children affected by their social-media interactions?

The Association of Psychological Science observed that the increasing number of smartphones with teenagers is one of the plausible reasons. The need to post each and every detail of personal and public life online has become a norm. Teenagers find the inherent necessity to post events online to find a feeling of satisfaction, which is otherwise wanting or lacking in the form of appreciation from their immediate guardians or even peers.

Jean Twenge reports on her interactions with teenagers in her sampling study. It was observed that teenagers prefer staying away from a social life physically, but expect a thriving one online. The peer pressure somehow demands that the “best of both worlds” be published on the wall as a story for others to know how fabulous their respective lives are.

Advent of smartphones has encouraged students to spend more time on their smartphones instead of on playgrounds, with peers and other socially activities. Be it a YouTube video or just some girls “catching up with the Kardashians,” social media has a major role to play. This has paved the way for multiple psychological issues such as chronic depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and much more. On the other hand, teenagers who avoided smartphones and social media websites for a week were found to have better endorphin levels in the brain.

Kids have access to smartphones when they are as old as 10. Are we unintentionally exposing them to risk? Twenge’s study mate has had a smartphone since she was 11. She derived the conclusion that teenagers these days prefer their phones over people for multiple reasons. One of them is that it feels like an arduous task to interact with people in the first place. People have personalities. Smartphones do not. So it becomes easier to have an interactive device that responds as the mind expects it to instead of real people!

According to statistics obtained from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 10 teens in the age range of 15-19 years has tried to commit suicide. Bullying, confused sexual orientation, and exposure to false and fabricated lifestyles of strangers have added to the number of psychological issues. Even if social media was supposed to “bring people together,” it has developed the fear of missing out in teenagers as well.

Unrealistic expectations, cyberbullying, undetected abuse, declining personal interactions, lesser involvement in physical activities such as various clubs, sports and other activities have added to the risk of developing depression and anxiety. Privacy is yet another concern. Teenagers are keen on keeping their lives a secret for some reason. As a result, they do not interact with their parents. Privy about their personal lives, they have a lot of pressure to cope up with studies, peer pressure and other intense feelings.

Mitigation is possible. But that requires the active participation of mental health experts and parents. Schools can sign up for the services of a child mental health specialist and sign up students for regular counseling. As a child psychologist and psychotherapist, they can talk students out of their fears and feelings that cause the depressive feelings in the first place. It is essential to educate students about the need to stay offline once in a while as a detoxification process. Student behavior can be analyzed over a period of time, and it requires intensive (but urgent) efforts.

Are we ready to take that step yet?



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