Teenagers these days seem to have it harder than ever. They must keep up with school, extracurricular activities, jobs, friends, and family members. However, in addition to all the normal teenage pressures, teens these days are also faced with the pressure of social media.
Social media can be a very helpful tool. It can serve to promote businesses and keep people informed. However, social media can also have a dark side. There is an inordinate amount of pressure that comes along with maintaining a public persona. No matter how popular one is on social media, it is common to feel the pressure that comes along with it.
Teens in today’s world may suffer from mental health issues that can be made worse by social media. If you suspect the teen in your life is dealing with mental health issues, it’s always important to reach out to a residential behavior treatment centers. They can assess your teen’s mental health and start them on the road to feeling more like themselves.
Because social media is so prolific in today’s society, it’s important to understand the impact that social media can have on teen’s mental health. In this article, we will delve into the complications that can manifest due to social media and examine what you need to know about social media and teen mental health.
What are the Current Social Media Platforms?
Before moving into how social media can impact teen mental health, it’s important to examine the various social media platforms that are popular today. This will allow you to understand exactly what your teen is dealing with on a daily basis.
- Snapchat: Snapchat is very popular these days. It automatically deletes messages, allowing for an additional layer of privacy. Users can also elect to have messages stay visible for 24 hours. Furthermore, participants can share “stories,” which other users can view for 24 hours. Snapchat also features a variety of popular photo and video filters that teens in particular love to use.
- Twitter: Twitter is slightly less popular amongst teens and tends to target a somewhat older crowd. Users typically share text or photo posts on Twitter. Many celebrities and politicians have verified Twitter accounts.
- Instagram: Instagram is popular across all ages and demographics. Instagram features photos and videos, and you can also share a temporary “story” for 24 hours. This social media platform is popular among teens, but it can be dangerous for self-image due to the high number of aspiring models on the site.
- Facebook: Facebook is a very popular social media platform, but it’s not the main one amongst teens. Facebook tends to attract an older crowd, and it is also an excellent platform for business promotion. Users can share text, photos, or videos, and they can also add a temporary “story” for 24 hours.
Does Social Media Have Positive Effects?
The main reason why people enjoy social media is that it helps them stay in contact with their friends and family members. It allows people the chance to stay in touch even if distance or circumstances are separating them.
Additionally, social media allows people to share information, news, and stay informed. It is very helpful when it comes to spreading political messages and disseminating important information.
Furthermore, social media allows people a space to express themselves and show off their talents. Many people love sharing art, music, and achievements via social media, and they are often encouraged by their peers
The Effect of Social Media on Teen Mental Health
Though social media has many positive effects, it can also be harmful, especially to teens. Some of the negative effects of social media on teen mental health are:
- Depression: Depression is a complex issue. There are many reasons why teens may start feeling depressed, and social media certainly can’t be held fully responsible. However, social media has been shown to encourage depression in some teens.
Social media can become addictive. The majority of teens check some form of social media every day. This can lead to teens becoming increasingly depressed the more they engage. In particular, it has been shown that social media can be linked to low self-esteem, which can be a precursor to depression.
- Anxiety: Social media has also been shown to promote anxiety in teens. Because teenagers are constantly seeking approval in the form of “likes” and comments on social media, the pressure to succeed can be intense. This can lead to anxiety.
Additionally, due to the natural ranking system inherent in social media, teens may feel as though they’re constantly competing with their peers. This can raise their anxiety levels and make them feel as though they’re never able to relax because they’re always being viewed.
- Jealousy: Jealousy is another natural result of social media. Many teens who use social media find themselves being extremely jealous of others on the platform. They may be jealous of photos, videos, or simply how popular the other person is.
Unfortunately, often photos and videos can be edited, creating an unrealistic expectation for body image. However, teens often do not consider this fact and rather spend time comparing themselves to others, only to determine that they come up short.
- Sleep deprivation: Finally, social media can also result in sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, teens who become addicted to social media may spend a lot of time browsing their profile as well as others’ profiles and news feeds and thinking of things to post. While it may not seem like this would take up much time, some teens can spend all night obsessing over social media. When this happens, sleep deprivation is a natural result.
While sleep deprivation is serious for anyone, it’s particularly dangerous for teens. Teenagers still have developing brains. Thus, they require sleep and nourishment even more than adults. When a teen is sleep deprived, they may experience moodiness, depression, anxiousness, or any number of other conditions.
Social media is a complex issue. There are many positives that come along with social media engagement, such as maintaining your community of friends and family, and sharing important news.
However, teens in particular are also negatively affected by social media. Their mental health can suffer if they are too engaged with social media or particularly sensitive to its effects. Social media can result in poor self-esteem, causing anxiety and depression. It can also cause its users to become addicted, which can result in damaging consequences such as sleep deprivation.
Teens these days have a difficult road ahead of them. However, they can always be helped as long as they have people in their lives looking out for them. If you or someone you love is experiencing distress as a result of social media, make sure to reach out to a mental health professional. Remember that there is always hope, and you don’t have to fight your mental health battles on your own. There are many facilities you can check out, so find many mental health facilities for teens today!