Do you think about how your words might affect those around you? What about your posts? Do you think about the content in your pictures? Your posts on social media can cause others to feel left out, feel jealousy, or even be hurt by actions and words you share on the internet. Most likely, you have felt the same way due to another person’s posts. There are numerous studies showing that the time teenagers spend on social media correlates with increasing rates of depression, low self-esteem, and stress.
What do you typically see on Facebook or Instagram? Is what your friends post real? Is what you post real? Do you ever take 20 photos of the same thing and go through each photo trying to find the perfect shot? Most often what you see scrolling through your newsfeed is edited reality. These posts have been shaped to look like the best times of someone’s daily life. People are much less likely to share about their hard days and struggles. Seeing these glamorous photos of shopping trips, new clothes, amazing vacations, and awesome parties makes you wonder, “Why don’t I get to do those things?” “Why was I not invited to those parties?” “Am I not good enough?” “Why don’t I look like that?” You must remember, these posts are not reality.
Below are some great articles, that while they are directed more toward parents, have some great insight from teenagers and how they have felt dealing with the influence social media has on their life.
The Dove Social Media Project – click this link
Social Media and Self Doubt – click this link
How Does Social Media Affect Teens? – click this link
An article written by a teen with an interest in learning how social media is affecting the daily life of teenagers around the world – A really interesting read!
A Challenge for our Readers:
- No phone or social media for 1 to 2 hours a day. Do something else you enjoy such as sports, listening to music, crafting, or another hobby.
- Write about how this makes you feel!
Explore life outside of the likes, emojis, and the internet. Learn to love yourself for who you are. You do not need approval of instagram, facebook, etc, to see how amazing you are. Spend time with yourself to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, what makes you unique, and what you enjoy doing. Spend time with family without electronics and just enjoy each others company!
**If you are struggling with strong feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or depression, please reach out to someone. You can talk with your parents, a school counselor, a teacher, or even your doctor. The effect social media can have on your mood is very real. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.