Excessive social media use affects emotional growth

Excessive use of social media by children could seriously impair their language learning abilities, M.S. Alexander, consultant psychiatrist at Leeds and Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom, has said.

Dr. Alexander was delivering a lecture on ‘Use and abuse of social media’, organised by the Department of Psychiatry at the Pushpagiri Medical College at Thiruvalla on Tuesday.

Dr. Alexander said social media had become part of our lives. But, restricting the time on social media was important for the emotional development of children and adolescents, he said.

He said social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-in, WhatsApp, and Google were used by billions of people all over the world and their influence, both positive and negative, could no longer be ignored.

Positives too

It was a fact that the social media could bring people together across national boundaries to work for the common good of humanity. At the same time, we must be well aware of the related problems such as social media addiction, internet pornography, sex crime, and so on too, he said.

Roy Abraham Kallivayalil, Secretary General of the World Psychiatric Association and President of the World Association of Social Psychiatry, presided.

Dr. Kalivayalil said social media could facilitate academic learning, research, health education, disaster management and medical emergencies. But social media could also pave way for cyber bullying, spread of fake news, anti-national or terrorist activities, sexual harassment and socio-medial related psychiatric problems. Hence judicious use of social media was warranted, he said.

The World Psychiatric Association had published a ‘Position Statement on ‘e-Mental Health’ which was available freely on WPA website, he said.

WPA Mental Health