The use of social media has been associated with poor mental health quite a lot. People who spend a lot of time on online social networks either grow narcissistic traits or experience depression as they compare themselves to others. This compare and despair policy can damage one’s health and also set barriers between people.
What’s equally bad is the copy and follow culture which is growing. This refers to children, and even adults, copying one another and harming themselves in the process as well. Those who are already struggling with mental health problems are at more risk because their poor mental wellbeing is worsened by the use of social media.
Looking at all these problems and the growing cases of affliction caused because of social media The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that psychiatrists must ask children more questions regarding their use of technology.
What Are Psychiatrists Being Recommended?
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is urging doctors to ask children questions regarding their social media usage. This is because social media has been found to be linked to the mood, sleep patterns, diet as well as behavior of people, particularly, children. It is expected that the government will soon announce plans regarding the regulation of social media companies.
A lot of scientific proof shows that the time spent online shares a strong link with poor mental wellbeing. The College is going to publish a report later in this year that would discuss technology use and its impact on the mental health of children. This report will also include actionable advice for parents, psychiatrists, and children.
Psychiatrists are being urged to think about three aspects when questioning a child about social media use. Firstly, they should consider harmful content which promotes eating disorders, suicide, and the like. Secondly, the effects of tech use with regards to a child’s sleep, behavior, mood, eating habits, and poor academic performance should be considered.
Thirdly, psychiatrists must also consider the role played by depression, eating disorders, and the like in making children spend more time online or use social media in a harmful context. As per the recommendations of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, children should at least avoid using technology an hour before heading to bed and during mealtimes.
It is expected that the government is to announce plans for independent regulators to enforce a statutory ‘day of care’ on social media, according to BBC. Steps are being taken after increasing concerns regrading the type of graphic content shared online such as the spread of graphic images that promote self-harm.
The online activities of children and the sharing of graphic content that encourages harmful habits and actions on social media have increased. This is a cause of concern because social media has been repeatedly linked to poor mental health.
The growing problems posed by technology use have led The Royal College of Psychiatrists to urge psychiatrists to ask children questions regarding social media usage. The government will also soon be taking measures with regards to social media regulation.