Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok have become addictive for children and adolescents. The excessive use of these platforms can contribute to a myriad of mental health issues, such as anxiety, eating disorders, suicide, self-harm, and more.
Unfortunately, children and adolescents are the most vulnerable to the harmful effects of social media addiction. As a result, many families and young adults have taken action by filing social media addiction lawsuits. However, it is important to note that any social media platform user may experience addiction.
If you believe that you, your child, or a loved one is addicted to one or more social media platforms, contact the social media addiction lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group today to learn more.
What Is Social Media Addiction In Teens?
Social media addiction, while not an official diagnosis, is categorized as a behavioral addiction. Children and teens are more susceptible and vulnerable to social media addiction and the negative side effects that accompany it because they have not yet fully discovered and established who they are. In the midst of discovering their sense of identity, they can be easily influenced by the algorithms of social media platforms.
The criteria to identify Social Media Addiction considers the following:
- Do they use or have they used any of the following social media platforms:
- Did they use one or more of the social media platforms before the age of 21?
- Do they spend more than three hours of use per day across all the social media platforms combined?
- Have they suffered from one or more of the following mental health challenges:
- Severe anxiety
- Body dysmorphia
- Eating disorders
- Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, or completed suicide
- Or other forms of self-harm
- Have they received medical treatment for the injuries, this can include:
- A hospital visit
- A consultation with a medical doctor
- A consultation with a mental health therapist
The Mental Health Effects of Social Media Addiction in Teens
Social media addiction can have a major impact on children and teens’ mental health. Side effects may include:
- Eating disorders
- Body dysmorphia
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble focusing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sexual exploitation
- Suicidal thoughts, ideation, and suicide
- Injuries or death from popular platform challenges
Additionally, the use of social media platforms may expose children and teens to experiences unique to social media that can further impact their mental health and well-being. These experiences include things like:
- Social Comparisons: Social media platform users have access to view millions of others’ lives through the apps. This can lead to comparing themselves to others, which may lead them to feel poorly about their quality of life and cause low self-worth.
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): The fear of missing out on something can cause children and teens to impulsively check their phones and platforms, and to scroll excessively. Doing this can exacerbate feelings of anxiety, affect their ability to focus, and more.
- Cyberbullying: Social media platforms can open up children and teens to their peers and make them vulnerable to online bullying, harassment, and blackmail. All of these experiences can lead to anxiety, self-harm, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and more.
How A Social Media Lawyer Can Help
If you, your child, or a loved one are suffering from social media addiction, you are not alone and the attorneys at Shapiro Law Group and here to help you fight back. Our experienced mass tort lawyers can help you hold social media companies accountable and get you the compensation you need for treatment. Call us today at (866) 527-0306 or contact us online to get started today with a free consultation.