Social media use has increased among young people. (Courtesy Photo)

It’s 2023 and it’s no secret that social media and technology use has a big effect on our society. Everyday, hundreds and thousands of users are getting onto social media apps and are engaging with each other from all over the world.

These apps provide a new level of social activity that gives users the ability to communicate and almost place themselves anywhere in the world to catch up with recent news and posts from their favorite celebrities, or even people that they just admire and follow.

We have even seen the evolution of technology in our school system across the country. Schools give students laptops for the school year that they are able to take home, replacing traditional textbooks and papers.

This has made the ability to do zoom sessions, tutoring, online assignments, and programs easier to navigate and function. This has led to an increase in teenage users on different social media apps and discords.

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In today’s society, almost everyone is connected in a technical or a social way. Cell phones moving at faster speed and providing features such as FaceTime gives teens and young adults the ability to video call anyone around the world. Social media such as Twitter and Instagram give young teens and adults the ability to see updated news in seconds along with recent pictures and videos posted.

Many people around the world, though, feel like social media places a downfall in many different parts of our everyday lives. There is plenty of research that details what exactly social media and technology does to our mind and bodies. One of the studies details how reducing social media use significantly improves body image in teens and young adults.

According to research and studies published by the American Psychological Association, teenagers and young adults who cut down on technology and social media use by 50 percent, saw significant improvement in their weight, emotions, and overall appearance compared to their peers who continued to use social media and technology at a normal rate.

Lead author Gary Goldfield, PhD, of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute stated: “Youth are spending, on average, between six to eight hours per day on screens, much of it on social media. Social media can expose users to hundreds or even thousands of images and photos every day, including those of celebrities and fashion or fitness models, which we know leads to an internalization of beauty ideals that are unattainable for almost everyone, resulting in greater dissatisfaction with body weight and shape.”

It’s no secret that we see these results in our everyday lifestyle. There have been many businesses and corporations, who have been advocates for kids to practice more physical health activities. For example, Nickelodeon implemented a segment within their broadcast that encourages children to go outside and play until their shows return.

Researchers and scientists are not saying to do away with technology and social media all together, but to help balance it, so that kids and young teenagers are affected as much. One step at a time we could help shape the future and use better health practices for our children and young teenagers.