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When social media is unsociable

War Cry comments on smartphone addiction

Teenagers spend an average of four and a half hours a day on their phone

DESPITE not being released until December, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the UK’s highest-grossing film of 2017. One of the stars of the film, Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, made headlines when she decided to quit social media. Explaining her decision, she cited the negative impact that the use of social media sites can have on the mental health of teenagers and young adults.

Daisy’s concerns have been borne out in recent weeks by research scientists from one of the biggest social media sites. They have identified that when teenagers, in particular, scroll through other people’s posts – which often portray a successful and happy life – it leads them to feel negatively about themselves. An additional concern is the amount of time that can be spent accessing social media.

Addiction

Psychologists have warned of smartphone addiction, highlighting the fact that teenagers spend an average of four and a half hours a day on their phone. The psychologists identified the use of social media apps on phones as a major concern. They confirmed that such addictions can lead to an increased risk of depression and suicide among young adults and schoolchildren.

Their report recommended the creation of a committee to study the issue and to provide parents with tools that will help them become more aware of their child’s phone activities.

Any initiatives to protect the mental health of people of any age are to be welcomed. However, it is a shame when people feel the need to compare themselves with others.

Every person is valuable and has a unique contribution to make to society. The challenge, particularly with younger generations, is to find a way to communicate that fact.

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