Chat apps are popular among young people as they are free and easy to use. People can quickly make new friends, share pictures and videos and even live stream their lives via these chat apps such as Whatsapp or Snapchat. However, due to their fun and convenient features, chat apps are often used in excess or abused. It has become a hot topic among parents, educators and doctors with many concerned that young people are spending too much time on their phones when they should be interacting with other people instead or be doing other things like studies, sports or household chores. Addicted to WhatsApp? Meta is misleading young people

Introduction

Social media has taken over everybody’s life. According to a study of Ipsos, at least one in five adults check their smartphone hourly, with 18% saying they do so every 30 minutes. This wide use and dependence on social media may contribute for more adolescents being addicted to it. Experts have expressed concern about teenagers over-using digital devices, with 92% of teachers telling Association of Teachers and Lecturers that they think pupils are spending too much time online. (AOL)

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The Findings

According to a report by media regulator Ofcom, messaging apps have outpaced social networks in terms of usage. While Facebook has become a repository for older generations, WhatsApp and its cousins—Viber, WeChat, Line—are hugely popular among younger age groups. The latter in particular—mostly used on mobile phones—have quickly gained traction among teens and are now being blamed for disrupting family life.

Addicted to WhatsApp? Meta is misleading young people
Addicted to WhatsApp? Meta is misleading young people

A recent study found that three-quarters of children aged 11–16 surveyed were using instant messaging apps at least once a week. Even more worrying was their willingness to share details about themselves via these channels: more than 70% felt comfortable sharing their home address or phone number with strangers they met online.

What You Should Do

If you can’t put your phone down, try putting it in a place where you won’t be tempted to check it. For example, don’t keep your phone on your nightstand at night. If you do want to send an update while you sleep, send it before going to bed and then take out your phone’s battery. This will help prevent interruptions throughout the night and will also reduce any temptation that might lead to excessive use. Be sure not to tell anyone of your plans either; most of us share our daily routines with close friends, which makes over-sharing while trying not overshare at all a bit tricky.

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Conclusion

While we can’t speak for everyone, we can tell you that for us at Addicting Info, social media has been a great boon in getting our stories heard. We frequently post breaking news on Facebook and Twitter. (And Instagram when we’re feeling really frisky.) And while some of it may not be as important as last week’s rant about Ivanka Trump being an accomplice to child abuse, having social media allows us to share our articles quickly with readers and they can then determine if they want to read it. It would be nice if someone like Tech Crunch did some actual reporting on why Facebook made their changes and found out that they had not done any kind of research with users or their customers before making these changes.

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