Technology and Social Media Impact on Children’s Mental Health

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By Deba Priya R

Posted on June 10, 2024


4 min read

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Technology and Social Media Impact on Children’s Mental Health

In an era where technology is seamlessly integrated into daily life, people of all ages spend a significant amount of time on social media. Everyone is so busy in their own world that they are barely cognizant of what is happening around them. Children are growing up in a digital landscape vastly different from that of previous generations and they have a vast knowledge of this ever-evolving technology than the adults.

In a study conducted by BMC Public Health[1], on the well-being of 10-15 years old children discovered that kids’ well-being decreased from the ages of 10 to 15 later in adolescence, the more time they spend on social media at age 10. As the brains of children are still developing, exposure to social media can greatly impact their future wellbeing and gradually this can create some serious mental health issues.

According to My Doctor [2] “Digital Wellbeing 2020, indicates almost half of teenagers admit to being addicted to their smartphones. The majority of respondents also felt their relationship with technology negatively affected their lives (diet, sleep, exercise, and schoolwork).” Technology use and children’s mental health have a complicated and nuanced relationship. On one hand, social media is a deep sea that provides innumerous options to dive and learn from, on the other hand, unwanted platforms that creates a space for excessive screen time leads to addiction and poor mental and physical health.

Excessive Screen Time and its Ramifications 

Children today are ‘digital natives’, that makes them experts in technology from the very minute they are born. Parents use the help of social media and technology even to feed the kids, which gradually develop into an addiction and increased screen time. An excessive amount of screen time can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, which lowers levels of physical activity. Blue light from screens suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, which can cause disruption in sleep patterns. Children who don’t get enough sleep may experience behavioral issues, slow down physical development, and have cognitive impairments. Other than these excessive screen time can affect eyesight, language development in kids, impact academic performance and other major health problems.


In the digital realm, children are vulnerable to online threats including cyberbullying and other dangerous threats. Cyberbullying hurts people, and in many cases is also illegal. Children who experience cyberbullying may find it difficult to focus in class, which may have an impact on their performance and overall quality of life. Bullies and victims of severe, persistent, or frequent cyberbullying may experience anxiety, depression, or other stress-related problems. In some case it can even lead to suicides.

Promoting Digital Well-Being: Strategies for Resilience

In light of these challenges, it is critical to support children’s digital well-being in order to protect their mental health in the digital age. Encourage young people to use digital technology appropriately and help them develop resilience instead of arguing and warning them because of the excessive use. By choosing media wisely (educational content) and co-watching it with the kids can create a healthy environment for both parents and children. Parents can set up clear guidelines for their children’s screen time, such as time and daily limits. Children might be encouraged to limit their screen usage by parents who set a good example.

Holistic child development requires promoting a balance between screen time and other activities like reading, hobbies, and outdoor activities. Educating children from a young age about online safety, potential risks and benefits of social media and technology can create awareness and promote digital literacy and well-being in them. Moreover, fostering an accepting and inclusive online community that values compassion, empathy, and respect helps lessen the detrimental effects that social media and technology have on kids’ mental health.

As technology continues to reshape the fabric of society, understanding how technology affects children’s mental health is crucial for building resilience and well-being in the digital age. Although social media and technology present unmatched chances for education and interaction, improper usage might have a negative impact on children’s mental health. We can enable kids to confidently and resiliently navigate the digital maze, assuring their success in both the virtual and real worlds, by fostering digital literacy, responsible technology usage, and online safety practices.