Social media use has become an everyday need for many students at international schools in Manila and elsewhere. They use these apps for group projects, communication, and entertainment. While social media is not harmful in itself, it is known to have negative effects. One of the most notable is anxiety.
Anxiety is defined as a consistently occurring feeling of nervousness. When left untreated, this condition can make kids socially and academically incapable. For example, these students may become afraid of approaching classmates or taking exams.
Thus, it is important for parents to know the different reasons why social media makes students anxious:
Because of social media, students are more likely encouraged to compare themselves to their peers. It may be difficult for them not to do so since their friends are bound to post pictures of their achievements. Additionally, a lot of online users tend to like these images. Thus, the popularity of these people skyrocket.
As a result of these experiences, kids can find it hard to avoid basing their self-esteem on the approval of others.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) refers to the tendency to feel restless when missing out on your peers’ experiences. Students may feel that their friends live more rewarding lives.
Social media apps have made FOMO more widespread due to several reasons. One, internet users tend to manipulate their reputation and portray their day-to-day living in an exaggerated manner. Two, being constantly reminded of the events they cannot attend can impact their self-image.
FOMO contributes to student anxiety, mainly because it can make them develop unrealistic expectations of what a “good life” really is. They find it more difficult to enjoy the present since they will always be thinking of the things and experiences they lack.
Loneliness contributes to anxiety because it fuels their insecurities. Social media can make people feel isolated by reminding them of the online connections they do not have. Some of their classmates may have two thousand friends, while they don’t even have half of that.
Lastly, these online apps take time away from real-life social interactions. Students can find it harder to make friends and develop meaningful relationships.
Some children can start to feel mentally and emotionally uneasy when they are away from their phones.
Social media is addictive because it can stimulate the brain. Whenever students get an online notification, their dopamine releases and they feel temporary joy. The more they engage in this habit, the more they can become dependent on the internet for their social interactions.
In turn, they neglect activities that can be more fulfilling like personal bonding with friends or spending quality time with family.
Many students at international schools in Manila and elsewhere are most likely too dependent on social media. Because of this habit, they have also become more anxious about day-to-day life. They can end up not feeling good enough, envious of others, and even isolated.