Journal of Child and Adolescent Health

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Research Article - Journal of Child and Adolescent Health (2022) Volume 6, Issue 6

On-line education and media use in adolescents: clinical perspectives related to the COVID pandemic

Background: Adolescents form an important backbone of our society, contributing to 20% of the population and reflecting the future adult population. In times of COVID when education took a backseat due to lockdown and physical restrictions, online education became a means to provide continued education and bridge the gap. Social media has been in vogue for decades now and has evolved to encompass many networking sites such as google, youtube, facebook, instagram and so on. These sites provide adolescents with a means to connect, share, create content and evolve as digital citizens. There is however a blurring of lines between required online presences for study related activities and overuse of social media/other media. There is also a lack of clarity on how much is too much when discussing online presence. Persistent and unchecked online usage by the adolescent could lead them to an unreal world, making them face negative comments and unrealistic expectations with potential severe impact on their physical and mental well-being. Compromise on sleep due to long hours spent online, body image issues like body shaming, compromised social contact with their parents and limited physical activities have been major points of concern. We review the topic of online education and media use by adolescents and provide tips to physicians to inform their practice as we come to accept that technology will continue to be the path to take, for adolescent learning and interactions, going forward. Conclusion: Social media and online education can be a useful tool by providing a means to learning, discovering, acquiring skills, social engagement and fostering a sense of belonging. It also brings to the table a serious risk for physical and mental wellbeing. Some common problems include overweight/obesity, depression, suicide, body image issues, cyber bullying and trolling. There has to be a middle path between the issues of concern and the positive effects as 92% of the teens are known to use the internet regularly. The medical concerns can be combatted with adolescent and parent education on healthy media use, positive parental behavior related to media use, open and nonjudgmental environment facilitating effective communication and policy initiatives aimed at addressing the social, environmental and economic factors that underpin healthy lifestyles and family well-being.

Author(s): Preeti Galagali, Nimrat S Sidhu, , Chitra Dinakar

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