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  Opinion   Edit  19 Dec 2023  AA Edit | Use social media time wisely

AA Edit | Use social media time wisely

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 19, 2023, 12:28 am IST
Updated : Dec 19, 2023, 12:28 am IST

Parents of teenagers face the greatest problem in how to moderate the time youth spend on their mobile phones.

Social media adds to misinformation, conspiracy theories and the harshest ways of expressing opinions. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)
 Social media adds to misinformation, conspiracy theories and the harshest ways of expressing opinions. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

A new study reveals what was always self-evident since the rise of the internet and the preponderance of social media platforms. The study finds small reductions in social media use are linked to improvements in health and well-being.

The findings, even if they come from a small sample group of undergraduate students, has the authentic ring of a grandmother’s pithy saying. All heavy users of the social media, particularly young people for whom its use may have become addictive, would have been aware already of a range of negative outcomes that it could sometimes lead to, like feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

It could be said that there is already a domination of bad news in the world and social media platforms only add to it, by piling on misinformation, conspiracy theories and the harshest ways of expressing opinions, and all this without any need for even self-regulation.  

What is interesting about the findings is that it suggests a minor reduction in terms of time rather than complete withdrawal of the kind that is generally recommended for drugs, liquor and smoking addicts.

The conclusion that the benefits of minor control measures are best conveyed as facts and not as a campaign in telling people how to use their time could be a lesson for all do-gooders who are able to advise young people on the perils of excessive consumption of anything, including social media use.

In the modern age, there are many concerns about the internet and there are such systemic shortcomings in it that many believe it is solely responsible for all of society’s problems. But control, particularly, of the government kind, is a curse worse than the disease because the intention may have more to do with suppressing dissent and stifling debate.

Parents of teenagers face the greatest problem in how to moderate the time youth spend on their mobile phones. The study suggests a way out in minor control over time spent than risk the “mood modifications, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse associated with addiction.”

Media literacy programmes some countries run to teach youth and proper evaluation of the veracity of online claims are smart ways, besides time reduction, to try and better young lives at a time when the internet is all-pervasive.

Tags: aa edit, control over social media