Adolescent addiction; foster emotional dependence, and have a negative

Adolescent bullies are using social media as a new
means to effectively impact on the lives of their victims. As of June 2017,
there are over 7.5 billion facebook users worldwide, with a growth rate of just
over 280% in the past 7 years. (Internet World Stats, 2017)
This phenomenal rise, and social media’s
popularity among adolescents, has caused a marked increase in the prevalence
and effectiveness of cyber bullying, and given bullies a whole new set
of tools with which to target their victims. These range from humiliating
photographs, Insults and racism, to cyberstalking and threatening messages (Katz,
2012). Traditional bullying can be defined by the criterion of “intent,
repetition and power imbalance” (Hellstrom, Persson, & Hagquist, 2015).
However, (Hellstrom, et al., 2015) found that
adolescents see physical or mental injury on the part of the victim as not a
consequential, but essential criterion to the definition of bullying. This is
particularly significant in the identification of cyberbullying, which, by the relative
nature of its definition, makes applying the same yardstick to all situations next
to impossible. Cyberbullying by way of social media is a cruel and effective
new form of peer victimisation affecting the lives of many modern-day
adolescents, this is a growing problem, with no end in sight.

 

 

Recent studies have shown that social media platforms
like facebook have a propensity toward addiction; foster emotional dependence,
and have a negative impact on adolescents’ psychological well-being. Adolescents
are spending copious amounts of time on social platforms forming addictions that,
according to (Hormes, Kearns, & Timko, 2014), compare closely to the effects
of substance abuse, both in there “symptoms, course and underlying mechanisms”
(Hormes et al., 2014, p.1). This addiction leads to a complete emotional
dependence on social media, and a perception that all self-worth and happiness,
depend on the success of their online social profiles. (Naeemi? & Temem,
2017). Furthermore, social media is replacing real life social involvement and
interaction. Social involvement can be defined as “engagement in occupations
that enable shared, meaningful social connection among family, friends or
communities of people.” (Kennedy, & Lynch, 2016, p.2). Therefore, instead
of interacting with the people around them, social networking encourages
adolescents to spend hours upon hours talking to people whom they have never
actually met, resulting in weak and superficial friendships. (Naeemi &
Temem, 2017). Many social media users are struggling with social media
addiction, where the emotional dependence and reliance on platforms like
facebook are having a negative effect on their psychological wellbeing.

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