Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, and it’s no secret that adolescents are among the most active users. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 81% of American adolescents aged 13-17 use social media. While social media can have its benefits, such as keeping us connected with friends and family, it can also have a negative impact on adolescent’s self-esteem.
Social media has created a culture of constant comparison, where adolescents feel the need to present their lives in a certain way in order to fit in or gain acceptance from their peers. This pressure to present a “perfect” life on social media can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. The constant comparison to others, who may appear to have more success, beauty, or wealth can exacerbate these feelings.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that adolescents who spend more time on social media are more likely to have lower self-esteem and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that adolescents who spend more time on social media are more likely to compare their lives to others, which can lead to increased stress and anxiety.
Furthermore, social media has also become a breeding ground for cyberbullying, which can have a significant impact on an adolescent’s self-esteem. Cyberbullying can occur 24/7 and reach a wider audience, making it difficult for adolescents to escape the negative comments and criticism. This constant exposure to negativity can lead to increased feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness.
So, what can parents do to help their adolescents manage their self-esteem in the age of social media? Firstly, parents should have open and honest conversations with their children about the potential negative impacts of social media. They should encourage their children to use social media in moderation and to be mindful of the content they post. Parents can also help their children to develop healthy coping strategies to deal with negative comments or comparison on social media.
Parents should also encourage their children to engage in activities that promote positive self-esteem, such as sports or hobbies they enjoy. It is important for adolescents to have a sense of accomplishment and self-worth outside of social media.
Finally, it is essential that parents monitor their child’s social media usage and be aware of any signs of cyberbullying or negative impacts on their self-esteem. If necessary, parents can seek professional help from a therapist or counselor to help their adolescent cope with the negative effects of social media.
In conclusion, social media can have a significant impact on adolescent’s self-esteem, leading to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. As parents, it is essential to have open and honest conversations with their children about the potential negative impacts of social media, encourage healthy coping strategies and positive activities, and monitor their child’s social media usage to ensure their well-being. By doing so, parents can help their adolescents navigate the challenges of social media and maintain a positive sense of self.
Rosen, L. D., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Is Facebook creating “iDisorders”? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 1243-1254.
Fardouly, J., Diedrichs, P. C., Vartanian, L. R., & Halliwell, E. (2015). Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women’s body image concerns and mood. Body image, 13, 38-45.
Kraus, A. (2017). Social Media and Self