Excessive Social Media Usage Might Increase Risk Seeking Behaviors Among Children

A recent study conducted at the University of Glasgow has revealed a troubling link between social media usage that goes beyond a healthy amount and risk seeking behaviors. There seems to be a positive correlation between minors who use social media excessively and their propensity to engage in unsafe sexual practices, consume drugs and alcohol, as well as smoke and gamble with all things having been considered and taken into account.

For the purposes of this study, around 1.4 million children who were between the ages of 10 and 19 were analyzed. The research was conducted between 1997 and 2022, and it showed that alcohol advertisements in particular were a dangerous trigger for children because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making them more likely to consume it than might have been the case otherwise.

These ads are geared towards adult audiences, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, they can have a very harmful effect when individuals with poor impulse control are exposed to them. Since children tend to have the least impulse control of all, it make sense that it would have a disproportionate impact on them.

Children that spent more than two hours on social media per day had a twice as high likelihood of consuming alcohol. Daily social media usage increased alcohol use by 48%, tobacco use by a whopping 85%, and there was also a 28% uptick in the use of drugs. This increase is compared to those children that don’t use social media all that often.

Sexual activities can also become riskier for children that use social media a bit too often, with a 77% increase in risky sexual behavior being noted which includes transactional sex and not using safe sexual practices such as using a condom. Antisocial behavior can also increase significantly due to social media, with researchers noting a 73% upswing in aggression and delinquent behavior as well as things like bullying.

One thing that bears mentioning is that risk taking and exploration are normal parts of teenage behavior, but social media is hijacking these tendencies and taking them to a whole new level which might make things far more dangerous for minors. Safeguards must be put in place to keep these influences in check.

Excessive social media exposure doubles alcohol consumption risk in children, heightens other unsafe habits.

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