Social media influencing opinions, attitudes of school kids: Fortis study | Lucknow News

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Lucknow: Rahul is a student of class XI and spends close to six hours on social media every day. He feels that a lot of “unwanted and negative stuff” is posted on social media which is taking a toll on his mental health. He feels that social media can instead be used as a platform to spread positivity. It is not only Rahul but 92% schoolgoing students in the country who say that social media is a good place to spread positivity about mental health.
In a nationwide study by a leading healthcare provider on 4,000 school students pursuing psychology from over 200 schools, it was found that 78% students spent a lot of time on social media, and as high as 96% students feel the urgent need to critically evaluate the information available on social media.
Conducted across 10 cities—Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Mohali, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Bangalore, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and Chennai—the study found that social media does play a pivotal role in influencing opinions and attitudes of school children.
The study recorded that 93% students agree that social media can help in de-stigmatization of mental health problems. The study highlighted the need for media literacy among parents. Knowledge of social media would enable parents to understand their child’s perspective better and provide insights into how time spent on social media could be more productive and constructive, stated the report.
Supervising the study, director for mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Healthcare Dr Samir Parikh, said, “One can’t contest the ability of social media to influence the belief systems and attitudes of the youth. But it is also welcoming to see that majority of the students recognize social media as an effective means to create awareness about relevant issues. We need to capitalise on the role that social media platforms play in creating alternative and positive narratives around social issues.”
He added, “We must find ways to engage young people with platforms aiming to create awareness, encourage help-seeking and act as a support system. There is a need for us to evaluate the way we are approaching mental health in the context of the young population, and find better mechanisms of connecting and engaging with them on mental health.”

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