Based on the Millenium Cohort Study of Economic and Social Research Council in United Kingdom, depression in female teenagers is caused by social media overuse.
From 11,000 girls aged 14 from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who participated in the study, 40 percent of the teens who are using social media showed signs of depression.
A concerned mother, Aling Babes, cut off their wifi connection at home to limit her children’s social media use.
She is also monitoring their use of communication gadgets and even knows the passwords to her children’s accounts.
Due to the restrictions, her daughter Sunshine uses most of her time studying and doing chores instead of spending time on her phone.
“Binibigyan natin sila ng oras kung hanggang kalian lang sila social media, alam ko tsaka aware ako,” she said (We schedule their social media time. I know and I am also aware),” Babes said.
Sunshine admits she uses social media to follow her favorite singers.
“Kasi po may GC [group chat] po iyoong idol ko po, tapos doon po kami nag-uusap-usap po,” she said. (My idol has a group chat and we all talk there.)
Psychologist Dra. Camille Garcia said it is important for parents to guide their children especially during teenage years where personality development begins to progress.
Aside from depression, social media overuse can also cause a decrease in the self-esteem of children.
Cyber-bullying and manipulation can also happen in social media.
“Masyado na tayong naging lenient na akala natin ang pagtutuon ng pansin ng ating mga anak sa mga social media account at the same time magkaroon sila ng access sa kanilang mga accounts. Bilang isang magulang, you should know the dapat there should be a limit (We are becoming lenient in monitoring our children and their social media account, at the same time, having access in their social media accounts. As a parent you should know there should be a limit),” she said.
Teenagers should only use social media for a maximum of one hour, Garcia added. — Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Rosalie Coz