Social Media Depression In Teens – What To Know?

Social media has become a part and parcel of our lives and is changing the way that we have viewed our world. The digital revolution that happened has shifted our perspectives and changed the way we connect and communicate. The downsides of social media tend to get less attention as it has changed our lives dramatically by influencing every aspect.

Social media have had it effect on everyone and it has a complicated relationship with teenagers. These new digital platforms provide amazing opportunities for teenagers to learn, connect and express their true selves.  Although, social media depression in teens is something far more intense and necessitates prompt intervention. 

Social Media Depression

What Is Social Media Depression? 

Adolescence is that delicate phase in which major physical and emotional changes happen that shape one’s identity. It is easy to get influenced by the glitter and glam of social media platforms at this age which builds unrealistic expectations.

The constant use of social media and continuous exposure to a wide range of things could develop depressive symptoms among teenagers. They seem to admire a world that is far from reality that develops low self-esteem, jealousy, and insecurity in them. The constant feeling of they are not enough creeps in which takes a toll on their mental health. 

Impact Of Social Media On Teenage Depression

  • Unrealistic Beauty Standards: Social media is a place where beauty is celebrated and admired. When teenagers are exposed to such content, it creates exaggerated standards which compel them to compare themselves with others. The picture-perfect body, cool outfits, and immaculate features shown on these platforms affect their confidence and self-esteem. Eventually, this could result in depression and a lack of motivation to enjoy anything. 
  • Online Harassment: Social media is the ideal destination that could make or break you. The freedom of expression well combined with the anonymous nature of these platforms creates a toxic space. The hurtful and mean comments by social media bullies could terribly affect the confidence and enthusiasm of teenagers. Experiencing such hatred contributes to a sense of insecurity and alienation which causes behavioural changes. 
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Social media encourages everyone to share even the teeny tiny aspects of their lives. When individuals share their vibrant and happening life through these platforms it evokes a feeling of missing out in others. Accessing such content might make teenagers question the simple nature of their life that is not happening enough. They feel constant pressure to be part of such social events so that they could look cool on social media. This could fuel the feeling of loneliness and isolation leading to depression. 
  • External Validation: Social media is a platform that is built with the concept of external validation. Likes, comments, and shares are a way of showing appreciation that also creates trends. Teenage is the phase where one seeks external validation and acceptance, which social media platforms provide in the form of numbers. When they over-rely on these numbers it exacerbates feelings of inadequacy and depression. 

Also Check: What Causes PTSD In Teens? Exploring The Lesser-Known Facts

What To Do?

Minimising Screen Time: It is the constant use of social media that results in depressive feelings. Minimizing the usage could help to find a balance in life and to focus on the positive side. Encourage them to be involved in physical activities and to build connections outside of the online world. 

Monitoring Accounts: Monitoring your teen’s account without invading their privacy will help to an extent. Let them know you will be monitoring their accounts and explain the reason to do so. 

Have the Talk: It is important to maintain open lines of communication with your teenager and explain to them the pitfalls of these platforms. Try to provide constructive advice which will help them to improve and realize what is appropriate. 

Be a role model: Your words won’t have the effect you want if you are not setting the right example for your teenagers. Put your words into practice and be a role model for them to follow. Demonstrate healthy and moderated online behaviors when it comes to social media usage.

Final Word

Social media is a boon and a bane of the current generation. As teenage is a complex phase that laid the foundation for adulthood it is important to develop healthy relationships with social media platforms. Managed use of these platforms will help them to connect and evolve with the opportunities provided. Excessive usage wounds their self-esteem and exacerbates depressive feelings that leave an impact.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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