How Does Social Media Affect Teenagers?


Social media has its positives, but it surely does have its negatives. Social media is an online application that can be used by the public and lets people share their own individual life- these include Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. Social media can help people, but it can also be used in ways not so helpful. In this generation of internet and technology, social media has played a large role in forming how society works. Social media is not only used by individuals, but instead can be used by companies and business owners who would like to advertise their own products. Even though it has had such a short time with us, we still know lots about it. We know enough that we can see that it is not good for the minds of teenagers, due to the problems it causes.

According to Rachel Ehmke, from Child Mind Institute, before the internet and social media, teens tried and errored when hanging out with friends outside. Now that we limit social interaction face to face, teens do not pick up on skills that are needed in a face to face conversations. Teens are not getting enough face to face time, so they never fully develop social skills needed for real life interactions. Another problem that arises from social media is imposter syndrome. Teens will usually compare themselves to others on social media and think they are not good enough- causing internal self esteem problems. This happens more in female teens. They too often compare themselves to other girls. They create a false belief that they are undeserving and not good enough, since they do not meet societal “norms.” Other problems that come forth from social media, according to Rachel Ehmke, is that you are never truly alone with social media. Some apps share your location with your friends, so someone always knows where you are. Also, too much interaction is not good for you, since the human mind sometimes just needs to be alone. Telling someone constantly about your everyday life can cause you to feel overwhelmed and restricted to other people’s expectations.

Teens spend up to 9 hours a day on social media according to Common Sense Media. According to Jefferson Health, social media can create a negative body image, lack of sleep, and anxiety. When you connect to people on such a close level, you must understand boundaries. Those boundaries are broken since you can message anyone you want, whenever you want. Such easy access to people makes it so that the interaction between the two people is just there, no deep connection is made.

Things you can do to help yourself from falling into a social medias trap is instead of trying to cut social media off, limit your usage. Some tricks that can be used to help you do this is to limit yourself to only 15 minutes on any social media platform. This will help you be more focused on other tasks, instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. Another trick, which may be hard at first, is to only use social media once a day. Instead rely on news from real news sources, like articles and news channels.  It may be hard, but you can take your life back!