This statement accurately describes the effect social media is having on teens all over the world. The social media “phenomenon” in our culture dominates many of America’s youth including teens who use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter every day, all day long.
While these platforms offer many benefits by allowing people to connect online, they are also being shown to contribute to mental health issues among teens including increased depression, anxiety, and a rise in communication issues.One way social media can have an adverse effect on the minds of teens is by contributing to an increase in depression. Social media use is associated with increased symptoms of depression including feelings of loneliness, less desire to interact socially, and lower self esteem. While it is intended to connect people, social media can cause teens to feel more isolated and lonely as they attempt to fit in with other teens online and fail. So busy trying to establish an online presence of their own, they often miss out or even avoid interacting with others in real life as they pursue their online lives. Comparing themselves to others on social media can cause teens to feel inadequate and less popular than those they interact with online resulting in lower self esteem.
Those who use more social media platforms and who use them more often, have a higher risk of experiencing depression. The craze, which is social media, has most definitely contributed to increased symptoms of depression in today’s teens.With the rise of technology and the social aspect that comes with it, there is much pressure on the teens who use it.
This has led to an increase in anxiety among teens using social media. Many teens, mostly girls, strive to look “good” and impress others via their online presence. This can cause much anxiety in teens as they hide their “true selves” by projecting fake looks with filters, lying or exaggerating specific things in their lives, and a variety of other ways they attempt to make themselves stand out.
Not only does this hurt the one creating this “false image,” but also those who see it and try to copy what they see to impress others as well. Another major thing that can cause anxiety in these teens is the online responses they get from others who see what they post. If the responses are positive, it encourages more online “posturing” and if they are negative, it can devastate a teen. All of this can be damaging to young minds as they are constantly looking for praise and acceptance from others.
A final issue that contributes to mental health concerns for teens using social media is the way it contributes to communication issues. Although social media is a good way to keep up with friends and family, it is not the same as face-to-face communication. Instead of learning basic communication skills by speaking with others, teens are communicating through screens far away from one another. As human beings, we use social cues like body language, tone of voice, and facial expression to communicate with one another. Sadly however, this degrades with the continual use of social media by teenagers. When their main way of interacting is through social media, teens miss these cues.
Then, miscommunication happens, often resulting in confusion, anger, and possibly loss of relationships. Shallow and false friendships are common in the world of social media because teens tend to only communicate the things they want to leaving out the basic emotions that are involved with real face to face communication. Nowadays, teens do not care to talk on the phone or sometimes even in person because it can be too intense for them. Sadly social media leaves teens without the ability to communicate with others and handicaps their generation without them realizing it.With the rise of social media, teenagers are being pulled in and controlled by what it offers, ignoring the damage being done to them in the long run. The addiction to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by teens and the pressures involved in this addiction, can lead to “symptoms” including depression, anxiety, and communication issues.
While social media has much to offer today’s teens in terms of allowing them to make a place in and interact with their world, it would be wise for both parents and teens to be aware of the mental challenges that social media can result in for teens who use it in excess.