Social media can influence positive behaviour among teens: Study

Updated: Jul 16, 2019, 22:06 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

A majority of 92 per cent agreed that it's a conducive platform to spread positive narration about mental health

Social media can influence positive behaviour among teens: Study
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A study by the Behavioural and Mental Health department of Fortis Healthcare has revealed that Social Media plays a pivotal role in forming opinions and attitudes among the majority of the school students. It also stated that as many as 78 per cents of students spend a lot of time on social media. A majority of 92 per cent agreed that it's a conducive platform to spread positive narration about mental health.

The survey was done under the supervision of Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare. It was conducted among 4000 school students studying psychology in Class XI and XII, from over 200 schools across 10 cities- Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Mohali, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Bangalore, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and Chennai. The idea behind this survey was to understand the relevance of social media in present times, the impact it has and how it has the power to shape narratives which influence their opinions and attitudes. The survey highlighted the need for media literacy among parents.

The study noted that the content which the students see via various social media platforms do contribute towards influencing their opinions and attitudes. The students admitted that the content which they see via various social media platforms do contribute towards influencing their opinions and attitudes. The role and influence of social media in shaping the belief systems and attitudes of the young generations is very evident, affirmed Dr Parikh.

Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said, "The ability of social media to influence the belief systems and attitudes of the youth cannot be contested. But it is heartening that the majority of the students recognize social media as an effective means to create awareness about relevant issues. We need to capitalize on the role that social media platforms play in creating alternative and positive narratives around social issues. Finding ways of building the engagement of young people with platforms that are driven to create awareness, encourage help-seeking and act as a support system is a must in this regard. 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. There is untapped potential that needs to be fully utilized to build mental health-related awareness."

Key Findings of the Survey

*90 per cent of students recognize that adults need to be aware of the usage of social media and have conversations with their children about what they consume on social media

*82 per cent students agree that their opinions and attitudes are influenced by the content they consume on social media

*96 per cent students feel the need to critically evaluate the information available on social media

*94 per cent students consider social media as a medium to create awareness among the public and youth

*93 per cent students agree that social media can help in the de-stigmatization of mental health problems

*92 per cent students think social media is a good place to spread positivity about mental health

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