Social media networks provide a platform to follow celebrities and stay updated on the latest news or trends. Yet, they can also negatively affect young people’s health and happiness.
As parents, you must ensure your child isn’t overly exposed to the platforms, as it could result in an addiction, low self-esteem, or mental health battles. Continue reading to learn how social media can affect teenagers.
Many teenagers can become addicted to social media, as they may become obsessed with receiving likes or interactions from others. According to a study, social media engagement will trigger the brain’s reward circuitry, and a teen will experience the same thrill as winning a competition or viewing a photo of a loved one. As a result, they might seek the momentary reward by posting photos, sharing statuses, and writing messages.
Teenagers are at an impressionable age. Both teen girls and boys will often compare themselves to their peers and celebrities. Unfortunately, they might struggle to identify filters and flaws and might compare their appearance or lifestyle to others’ seemingly perfect lives.
A feeling of inadequacy can then lead to low self-esteem and even body dysmorphia. Parents must talk to their children about the negative aspects of social media and ensure they are aware that users will often only post the best aspects of their lives.
Anxiety and Depression
Social media can play a huge role in a teenager’s mental health. Young people will not only compare themselves to photoshopped celebrities or their followers, but they may experience cyberbullying and peer pressure. What’s more, they might struggle to introduce healthy social media boundaries.
Unfortunately, these factors can cause or contribute to anxiety and depression in teenagers. Therefore, parents need to introduce strict rules regarding social media usage to protect their children’s mental health. If a child develops anxiety or depression, they must seek professional treatment. For instance, they can receive help and support from igniteteentreatment.com, a residential treatment center for teen anxiety.
According to recent research, 59% of US teens have experienced bullying or harassment online. Also, the same study found that a similar number of teenagers believe that social media networks, teachers, and politicians are failing to tackle the problem.
Parents must familiarize themselves with the signs of cyberbullying, such as:
- Emotional outbursts
- Sleeping issues
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Poor performance at school
Poor Communication Skills
Teenagers who are addicted to social media will often spend much of their time on their phones. As a result, they might struggle to socialize and communicate with others in real life. If they cannot concentrate or engage with others, they might fail to maintain friendships or relationships as they grow older. Poor social skills can affect their academic performance and career prospects, too.
Encourage your teen son or daughter to step away from their smartphone and engage with others in real life. It cannot only improve their communication skills, but they will be able to read people’s body language and expressions with ease.