Miss Riverton: Social Media Use for Teens Needs to be Limited
By Molly Johnson
RIVERTON, UT - Miss Riverton, Gabrielle (Gabby) Hindoain, has been working hard to bring awareness to an issue that will positively impact the lives of Riverton junior high aged youth and their families: social media use.
"When I was younger...I thought, 'Oh Wow, I wish I was prettier, good looking or healthier like them.' And you feel bad about yourself, and that’s too bad because I know so many beautiful kids that are amazing and gorgeous and they don't realize it because they don't match up to these photoshopped people," said Miss Riverton Gabby Hindoain. "We need to get them to spend time away from social media so that they are less affected and have less exposure to those photos and get away from that feeling and work on being their natural beautiful selves which is kind of learning a little more self-love."
Hindoain reports that studies show a ripple effect of the junior high age range in the United States. The statistics show that 75 percent of teens have phone access, of that 75 percent, 94 percent of them have social media accounts. From that 94 percent, 20 percent have depression which is directly related to social media use.
Social media news feeds are tangled with advertisements targeted to location, gender, age, etc. These advertisements that teens see on their newsfeeds include sponsored clothing lines, sponsored makeup lines, and more; often using images with photoshopped people.
"It's an excessive amount of time spent on the device. So, half an hour, an hour a day, that seemed to be the sweet spot for teen mental health in terms of electronic devices,” states Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University. "At two hours a day, there was only a slightly elevated risk. And then three hours a day and beyond is where you saw the more pronounced increase in those who had at least one suicide risk factor."
Hindoain recommends that Riverton youth start by cutting their time down to one hour per day and not all at once. She encourages that youth spend a little time here and there on it and use it for positive ways. Hindoain uses social media to see what events are happening so she can plan out her day.
When asked what teens that don’t have transportation and might be ‘stuck’ inside unless someone gives them a ride should do for the summer. Hindoain recommends that teens talk to neighbors, peers and do fun things outdoors like swimming or other recreational activities.
Hindoain said "Growing up there are a lot of communication problems with that [rising generation], people my age. If there is a problem, it's always over social media or over text [that issues are handled]. There is no more face to face, and you will have a harder time communicating with people over that.”
About Miss Riverton
Gabrielle (Gabby) Hindoain is the 2018 Miss Riverton Scholarship Pageant winner. Hindoain will be attending Utah Valley University in the fall, where she will be working toward a bachelor’s degree in dance. Her ambitions are to try out for the dance team after her first year in hopes of winning the half-tuition scholarship and chances of a lifetime. Hindoain enjoys the parades that she has been involved with as Miss Riverton. When looking back on her accomplishments as Miss Riverton, she hopes to see the growth, service opportunities and motivation to apply for future pageants down the road with Miss Utah Valley and Miss UVU. Hindoain looks forward to working with the youth in the community and families to overcome detrimental effects of social media.