How does social media influence teenagers today?

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How many hours do you spend on social media in a day? Nowadays, almost everyone has some sort of social media account whether it is Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, etc. It is known that teenagers’ cravings for social acceptance makes them influenced by social media more than adults. Social media can affect the way they think and the decisions they make. According to an article by Katie Hurley, she stated that, “The need to gain ‘likes’ on social media can cause teens to make choices they would not make otherwise including altering their appearance…”.

Due to the recent rise of social media, teenagers are more dependent on technology now than ever. It has influenced every part of their lives, from the people they interact with to what color shirt they’re wearing. 53% of the students have noticed that social media is affecting their mental health. Whether or not they believe it, social media is actually a big factor in teenagers’ mental health. The only thing left to determine is whether the influence social media has is good or bad. 

In order to determine whether social media had more of a positive or negative influence on teenagers, we conducted a survey asking classmates questions about how they interact with social media and how it makes them feel overall. Out of the 45 students that filled out the survey, 82.2% of them said that they experience happiness while on social media, and 58% said that they experience sadness. 

On the survey, there was a question that asked: “How do those emotions affect your well-being?” Some of the answers included self esteem issues, or that it doesn’t affect them because they focus on more “important things.” Another thing social media provides other than a form of communication are its trends. People, especially teenagers, require social acceptance and in order to gain that validation, they feel a need to follow certain trends. Now the number of likes received on their posts have turned into their only form of validation.

The thing is that not everyone will have the same experiences as others. In the article “Social media and teenagers” by ReachingOut Parents, they provide information about the positive aspects of social media, “Learn about world events and current affairs outside of their immediate environment”.

I guess we can say that social media has both positive and negatives. It just depends on how teenagers react to it. Social media has become a whole other planet and just like any other planet it’ll have it’s pros and cons. If you see any teenager more isolated, less social in person, or maybe even more interested doing things that don’t involve social media then they’re probably having a hard time. In that case, try and spend time with the teen and let them know that they’re not alone. 

 

Works Cited

Hurley, Katie. “Social Media and Teens: How Does Social Media Affect Mental Health?” Psycom.net – Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1986, www.psycom.net/social-media-teen-mental-health.

“Social Media and Teenagers.” Social Media and Teenagers – ReachOut Parents, ReachOutAustralia, 2020, parents.au.reachout.com/skills-to-build/wellbeing/social-media-and-teenagers.

“Anxiety, Loneliness and Fear of Missing Out: The Impact of Social Media on Young People’s Mental Health.” Anxiety, Loneliness and Fear of Missing Out: The Impact of Social Media on Young People’s Mental Health | Centre for Mental Health, www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/blog/centre-mental-health-blog/anxiety-loneliness-fear-missing-out-social-media.

Jacobson, Rae, and Child Mind Institute. “Social Media and Self-Esteem: Impact of Social Media on Youth.” Child Mind Institute, childmind.org/article/social-media-and-self-doubt/.