For the first time, I had a heart to heart talk with a teen, and the conversation was mainly about growing up challenge, parenting and the rest. We find out that not much is written from the teenagers perspective, except when spoken with. So, this actually got me thinking, what we need is to look at the problem in a different light. After speaking with her, this is what I was able to gather;
• Peer pressure from parents and society to conform to conflicting expectations.
• The risk of mental and physical health issues.
• Bullying (believe me, it’s still happening)
• Stress and difficulty prioritizing their time.
• Negative body image or view.
• Unhealthy pattern with drugs and alcohol.
• Participate in sexual activity and behavior.
So many teenagers are struggling to find a place in society, wanting to be recognized by their peers or individuals for what they are. When they get the message that they don’t fit in and don’t belong, the feeling of isolation, disconnect and depression stir up.
I felt this way once. We might ask ourselves; “What are they to do?”/ “Is it their fault if they are confused, out of control or defiant?” The major truth is that most of these teenagers haven’t found their particular kind of friends to associate with- friends that’ll love them the way they are. This feeling of not belonging is prevalent and affects all aspects of a teenagers life.
As parents, it is very important to talk to your child and find out what is happening in their school and peer group and also discovering what they’re exposed to. Educate your kids about the dangers.
How Does Social Media Affect Teenagers?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more can be a great way for teens to connect with the world, but when used irresponsibly, they are problematic. Today, they are forced to live at a very superficial level, on the edge of society, with no acceptance and very little positive affirmation. They are expected to learn how to live from the internet and television, where they believe they’ll find personal excellence. That’s a big paradox in the life of teenagers!
Mental and Physical Health Issues/ Facts
Here are major problems teenagers face in their lifetime once in a while;
• Lack of sleep
Everyday, we are running at a deficit. We require about 8 hours of sleep but we end up only getting six or seven hours. We sacrifice our sleep, all in the name of keeping to time.
• Depression and Anxiety
This is reflected in mood swings, anxiety, aggression and sometimes even a complete breakdown. These hormonal changes, added to the prioritizing and fulfilling expectations put a teenager under emotional pressure.
• Poor eating habits
They are urged towards eating disorders, either starving themselves or bringing in unhealthy fatty junk food.
P.S– I’m not trying to insult anyone, I’m only describing you. Try finding a balance between your online and offline lives.
If you’re feeling suicidal or thinking about hurting yourself or you know of someone who is in danger. Please call 911 or National Suicide Prevention lifeline. SMS or Text HERE to 741741 or START to 678678
(888)628 9454, +234 9030 000741.