There is a growing concern over the detrimental effects of teens’ use of social media. The period of adolescence is a period of rapid development. These developmental stages are already plagued with their own stressors, and social media use seems to exacerbate the issues that arise when children enter adolescence.
Social media pressure on teens has been blamed for an uptick in teen depression rates and teen suicides. Social media, for all its convenience and other benefits, can promote anxiety and feelings of inadequacy in teens.
According to surveys, teens feel overwhelming pressure to keep up with their peers, no matter how unrealistic and curated social media posts may be. For those with developing minds, feelings of never being able to keep up can affect their mental health.
What Pressures Teens on Social Media?
As an adult, you may wonder what these social media pressures are. You may even breathe a sigh of relief for growing up before the rise of social media. However, knowing what pressures your children are facing can help you help them.
Your teen may feel pressured to do the following on social media:
- Post positive and attractive (sometimes provocative or highly sexualized) content that will not bore followers
- Get as many comments and likes as possible
- Compare themselves against peers with perfect skin, better bodies, lavish lifestyles
- Create a fake persona to receive validation from followers
- Dwell on social media posts for events they were not invited to
- Deal with negative comments on their content (it’s never been so easy to post mean, aggressive, and bullying content)
- Immediately respond to friends’ posts
- Fear missing out if they’re not checking their phone all the time
- Constantly communicate with friends and romantic partners
- Jeopardize their safety and privacy in order to amass more followers and likes
With the amount of time and energy it takes to manage social media accounts, adolescents may miss out on healthy developmental milestones. Teens could lose connection to their true selves and instead focus to an unhealthy extent on their online persona. This can lead to unhealthy and unhappy adult life.
How to Help Teens Deal With Social Media Pressure
Taking away your son’s or daughter’s smartphone does not get to the root of the mental health issues that they may be having. Unfortunately, social media is here to stay. What you can do is help your teen develop healthy coping mechanisms and promote a healthy, contextualized use of technology.
There has always been bullying and social pressure among peers even without social media. But you can help create a loving, positive, and supportive home environment for your kids, and get them the professional help they need for any developmental and behavioral concerns.
Mental Health Care for Teens in Kent, Washington
If you notice that something is going on with your teen, the compassionate and friendly nurse practitioners at FamilyCare of Kent have the specialized training and tools to help your teen make healthy choices. It can be very difficult to get teens to talk, but our team loves to listen and can get teens comfortable enough to open up about their problems.
We genuinely care about your children and their development. Find out what we can do for your teen by calling the FamilyCare of Kent at (253) 859-CARE (2273) or submit an appointment request now. Our goal is to help teens be happy in this age of social media and save them from risky decisions that could affect them for life.