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Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Risky Decision-Making in Adolescents

 

A recent study from the University of Glasgow sheds light on a concerning connection between frequent social media use among adolescents and a heightened propensity for risky decision-making, posing serious threats to their well-being. Examining data spanning from 1997 to 2022, involving 1.4 million adolescents aged 10 to 19, the research unveils a disturbing link between regular social media engagement and a range of risky health behaviors. This includes a surge in underage drinking, drug use, smoking, and instances of anti-social behavior.

The study underscores the far-reaching impact of platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and others, influencing millions of young minds. Of particular concern is the exposure to social media content promoting risky activities, notably evident in the study's findings on alcohol advertisements. The research, published in BMJ, emphasizes the substantial evidence of harm associated with such exposure, especially in cases of increased alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating habits.

For parents, the alarming issue surfaces as the study reveals that adolescents engaging in social media on a frequent or daily basis are significantly more likely to partake in risky behaviors. The probabilities are stark: a 48% increase in the likelihood of alcohol consumption, a 28% increase in drug use, and a staggering 85% increase in tobacco use compared to those who use social media infrequently or not daily
. These findings underscore the urgent need for parents to navigate and monitor their children's online activities, recognizing the potential risks and taking proactive measures to ensure their well-being in the digital age.

Acknowledgment 

The Assam Tribune Planet Young Dec 7, 2023

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