Impact of Social Media on Teen Mental Health

Impact of Social Media on Teen Mental Health

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. However, researchers have found that the use of social media can have an adverse impact on teens’ mental health. This is because social media often triggers negative emotions in teens such as loneliness and low self-esteem when they compare themselves to others that they see online.

Social media can have a harmful impact on a teen’s mental health

Studies have shown that social media use is linked to depression, anxiety and body image issues in teens.

Research has shown that teens who spend more time than average on their phones or computers are more likely to experience feelings of loneliness or isolation. They may also feel like they don’t fit in because they compare themselves to others who appear happier or more successful online. Research has also shown that teens’ negative feelings about themselves tend to increase when they compare themselves against unrealistic representations of beauty.

Social media can cause anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that teens who spend more time on social media are more likely to experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Social media can cause sleep deprivation. The blue light that comes from our devices makes it harder for us to fall asleep at night because the brain doesn’t know how long it should stay awake when exposed to artificial lighting like this; this means we’ll often stay up later than intended. Sleep deprivation is liked to poorer mental health outcomes.

Studies show negative impacts

A survey conducted by McAfee revealed that 72 percent of teens say they feel worse after spending time on social media, while only 17 percent said they feel better. When you look at this data, it’s clear the negative impact that social media can have.

Teens who use social media frequently are more likely to feel depressed and anxious. Social media can make teens feel socially isolated, as they’re less likely to interact with people in real life. Additionally, when teens use social media excessively–that is, spending at least two hours per day on these sites–they’re more likely than those who don’t spend as much time online to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life.

Limiting time on social media may be beneficial

The more time teens spend on social media, the more likely they are to experience mental health issues. Teens who spend less time on social media tend to have fewer mental health issues than those who spend more time using it. This can be due to several factors, increased time on social media leads to:

  • Exposure to cyberbullying and trolling
  • Lack of real-world interactions (as opposed to virtual ones) with friends, family and classmates
  • Less time spent doing activities that are good for our mental health like studying, exercising or engaging in hobbies
  • More time comparing themselves to others, and unrealistic standards

How to decrease time spent on social media

Understanding the impact of social media on mental health is important because we can help protect ourselves from negative effects by making healthy choices about how we use it.

  • Avoid social media when feeling stressed or depressed.
  • Get offline to unplug and relax.
  • Spend more time engaging in social interactions in real life.
  • Set a timer or a limit on your phone for social media usage.

The bottom line is that social media can have a negative impact on our mental health, especially if we spend too much time using it. The good news is that there are things we can do to protect ourselves from this harm and even improve our mental health by making healthy choices about how we use social media. If you feel like your teen’s social media use is getting out of control or causing problems in other areas of life (such as schoolwork), then consider having a conversation with them about your concerns and developing a plan to decrease social media usage.

Mindhues is here to help

Mindhues therapist can help you or your teen gain an understanding of the impacts of social media and develop a plan to overcome the detrimental effects of too much social media usage. Contact us today to get started.