The Impact of the Internet and Social Media

The negative effects from media have made teens become more sleep deprived since so much time has been spent on technology. Rhitu Chatterjee has done some previous studies that show “[S]ocial media use is associated with disturbed sleep, which could itself affect children’s ability to focus in school and that might manifest in ADHD-like symptoms.” (Chatterjee para. #25) Media can now control how the children sleep. Children are affected by sleep deprivation because their brains are still developing.

Kids fall behind in school already without technology, but factoring in media can be hard for kids to catch up and that can cause major problems with school. This includes repeating classes. In April of 2017, David Gibson, who is the co-author of “The Art Of Falling Asleep,” did a study on how time spent on screens, has an effect on teenagers’ sleep. 10,000 teenagers in Norway showed that when using a computer right before bed were 3X more likely to get less than 5 hours of sleep. (Wright para. #3) Getting enough sleep is really important, especially with teenagers considering their brain development and their education is still continuing to grow. In addition to not getting enough sleep, the blue light from our phones and computers can lead to a disruption of melatonin production in your body before you go to bed which is not good because that can lead to sleep deprivation. Although there have been proven ways that media is bad for you, there are also ways that it can benefit you.

Most people view technology as a good thing, such as using it as a way to advance your academic skills. Anna Palmer is an investor for tech products, and one of the most common phrases in her household is “search it up”. Anna’s kids have taught themselves how to inflate boats and help themselves contribute to their “Destinations Imagination Project.” Anna’s kids have learned so many things through the internet. Some of these tips could be useful when in danger, such as picking a lock. (Palmer para. #8) Teenagers have a lot more access to the world at their fingertips with the technology we have today. Schools enforce using technology because kids are able to learn things on their own and become more resourceful. All information for teenagers’ needs is able to be accessed through technology and media.

Teenagers are able to educate themselves on matters that people around them don’t know. The scientific director and president at Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma Dr. Martin Paulus, insists that when kids are “networked with their friends, they engage in more diverse activities, and in the prepuberty stage when you don’t have all the teenager stuff going on, it truly is building a network community.’ (Paulus para. #15) Kids are able to communicate more with their friends or family. If in need of help or dangerous situations, kids are able to access anything at the tips of their fingertips. Time spent with family and friends before teenage years is crucial because that’s when kids can explore new topics and most of the time that is through social media. Many times technology is viewed as a bad thing. There are solutions to these problems with the technology today.

Parents should be educating on how long kids should be using technology in the day. Linda and Richard Eyre are both international bestselling authors on parenting, family, and life balance. Eyre’s stated in 2018 that having meaningful conversations can help enforce limits on how much kids use their devices. “Talk it over with your kids, starting with what the dangers are and what it can keep them from. Welcome their input but tell them that you will be setting limits.” (Eyre para. #4) Having set limits on technology can help with mental illnesses and also with time management and time spent with family.

Kids today are caught up in phones and games but have a hard time stopping and get irritated when they have to spend time with family because of withdrawal. These illnesses can be easily prevented with limits set by the parents. David Gibson, who is the co-author of “The Art Of Falling Asleep,” also talks about how educating teenagers on how much screen time can affect them. Give teenagers “[T]he facts about how screen time stimulation and blue light late at night will both prevent getting to sleep easily and reduce the amount of overall sleep.” (Gibson para. #7) An ample amount of screen time is bad for mental health and the teens who had limits and rules or even understand are easier to communicate and work with.

Teens will be able to understand the harmful effects that go along with what’s affecting them and with that relationships will improve or a more aware teenager. Other solutions may involve more harsh rules for kids.