It may sound ironic but the more they are connected online, the more ‘disconnected’ they may feel offline.
While social media can be used to foster ‘connections’ and discover social communities, what people often fail to notice is that they tend to get wrapped into this culture of comparison which can lead to mental health issues in the long run.
Today, there is still a heated debate whether or not social media is damaging teen’s mental health. There are some studies that suggest that being connected online to small groups of people may actually be beneficial to teenagers while there are also other research that links such online connections to many symptoms of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.Whichever the case may be, one thing’s for sure: teenagers must get all the help and guidance they need.
Social Media: Is it a friend or a foe?
Social media can be vital in helping teens to learn how to socialize. It can be a good place to start especially for those who struggle with all face-to-face social interactions, in general. Also, teens can find support and encouragement from joining small groups of online peers with the interests or hobbies.
However, social media can also be the place where they may face cyberbullying or toxic comparisons which can lead to sleeping disorders and other symptoms of depression and social anxiety.
How can social media damage teen’s mental health?
- As most social media platforms promote features such as ‘likes’ and ‘follows’, teens may feel that their worth is based on these numbers.
- Whenever they face destructive criticism or any form of cyberbullying, teens can develop symptoms of depression and anxiety, and in worst cases, suicidal thoughts.
- Teens can get pressured to appear flawless or perfect on social media. Constantly seeking for approval can be really stressful.
- Social media can be quite addicting. This makes it hard for teens to limit their screen time. Hence, they spend less time on the things that really matter such as exercise and real human connection.
Above all, there needs to be balance in everything. Too much of anything, no matter how good your intentions may be, can still be bad for you. That goes the same with social media. We all need to create balance in using it so it won’t get the best of us.