When we look at our phones, our bodies can elicit one of two emotions: either pure excitement or intense jealousy. This doesn’t sit well with me. We are allowing other people to determine the outcome of how we feel. We are letting other people tell us how to feel about ourselves, our place in life, and our circumstances.
In this digital age, social media plays a massive role in governing how we feel about ourselves. Social media does this to us because we let it. We feel excited and encouraged one moment, and the next we feel anxious. We begin to get used to feelings of failure, or thoughts like, “try harder, do more” or “you’re not good enough.” Does this sound familiar?
How does this sit with you? Take a quick inventory of your most recent feelings when looking at social media. What do you notice?
according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), teens spend over 11 hours each day looking at their phones. How much of an impact does this social media usage have on our youth? A lot.
Before we go any further, let’s address some quick facts.
According to a social media study done by PEW Research Center:
- YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens.
- 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online almost constantly.
- Teens’ social media use differs by gender. Girls dominate social media; boys are more likely to play video games. 84% of boys play video games on their phones.
- With girls, cyberbullying, comparison, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem lead to negative effects of social media.
- 74% use social media to make themselves “look cooler” and be accepted among other girls.
- Less than 50% of adolescents with mental health challenges seek help.
The accessibility to these social media platforms are nearly impossible to avoid.
Some of the most important aspects for parents to pay attention to are the warning signs and negative impact markers that social media can have on their kids. If you are reading this article for yourself, perhaps you, too, could benefit from knowing more about the harmful effects social media can have on you.