it is believed that teen lives have improved significantly. The standard
of living has increased over time as intake of alcohol and drugs have
reduced. However, growing evidence proves that today’s teens are facing
a mental health crisis.
According to Independent, it has been discovered that rates of
depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased by 70% in the past
25 years. During the past 3 years, hospital admissions for teenagers
with eating disorders have also almost doubled.
One of the prime reason for this increase in mental disorders is
believed to be social media. According to a survey poll of 1500
14-24-year-olds found that technology- more specifically social
networking websites could intensify the feeling of inadequacy and
Social media causes depression and other mental illnesses in a number of
Majority Of Today’s Youth Have Witnessed
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying which takes place online and has
made 87% of the youth its victim. It includes vulgar messages or emails,
rumours and embarrassing content posted on social networking sites.
This form of bullying can be more harmful as it can happen at any time,
even when someone is alone. Messages and images can be posted
anonymously, hence it is extremely difficult to trace the bully’s source
or delete the content after they have been sent out.
It Makes Us Unhappy, Unsatisfied & Insecure
On social networking sites, such as Instagram, people tend to post
pictures that give others the impression that they have exciting and
They often take hundreds of pictures, but end up selecting just a few,
which they of course excessively edit!
Teens often compare their real lives to idealized, online versions which
stunts their self-confidence. They also base their self-worth on the
number of likes and comments they receive.
It Creates Feelings Of Loneliness & Alienation
Social media was created to connect us virtually, but in reality, it has
made us feel more disconnected than ever.
According to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, if you
spend over two hours a day on social media, your chances of feeling
socially isolated are twice as high.
Through social media, teens can also constantly monitor what’s going on
socially, which contributes to the rise in adolescent FOMO (fear of
It Has Become An “Addiction”
For a majority, social media is the first thing they check in the
morning and the last thing they check at night. A study in the UK found
that two-thirds of people now have trouble relaxing when they can’t
access their social media accounts.
While another study claims that social media been shown to activate the
same brain areas as addictive drugs such as cocaine. This proves that
social media has become more of a necessity than a pass time.
Teenagers Have Access To Inappropriate Content
A wide range of information on almost any topic can easily be found.
Teens are often exposed to graphic images or emotionally heavy
information. This can leave a negative impact on them as they are going
through a psychologically vulnerable stage.
Approximately 50mn people in Pakistan suffer from common mental
disorders (according to Dr Ayesha Mian, Department of Psychiatry at Aga
Khan University). However, the stigma against this topic is still
prevalent in our society.
Only 2.4% of Pakistan’s annual expenditure is allocated towards health,
and even out of that a mere 2% is set aside for mental health.