Social Media: A Teen’s Worst Nightmare

Tayler Scipior

Do you ever wonder what has happened to the emotional state of today’s youth? Social media is likely the answer. Social media often increases sleep deprivation, body image issues, and is mostly bad for the overall mental health of teenagers. 

Research from the Sleep Foundation introduces the importance of social media’s effect on sleep patterns. This research found that the more time teens spent on screens, the more trouble they had falling asleep and getting less sleep during the night. Another study showed that teens get less sleep because they have fear of missing out. Dr Holly Scott, from the school of psychology at Glasgow University, said “Teenagers may be lying awake because they are not ready to fall asleep and then struggling to disengage from social media because they don’t want to miss out.” We tend to turn to social media when we are bored and have nothing to do, and we get carried away and then can’t put it down because we don’t want to miss anything. Dr Max Davie, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said “Lack of sleep can have a significant negative impact not only on young people’s wellbeing, but on their relationships with family and friends and in terms of reaching their full potential at school.” Spending too much time on social media can actually increase depression in teens and young people. And this affects all aspects of their lives. 

Some other effects that social media can have on teens is issues with self esteem and body image. Neha Chaudhary, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital says that “People end up creating unrealistic ideals for themselves based on what they see and feel distressed when they aren’t able to meet those ideas or self-expectations.” People expose themselves to the ideal body type and constantly compare themselves to the unrealistic standards

Social media plays a big role in lack of in-person interaction. A recent study from Pew Research Center found that more than 90% of teens use social media. 81% of these teens use it to stay connected with friends and family, and one-fifth of teen social media users spend four or more hours per day on social media. How many likes and followers a teen has can make them feel less worthy. A teen will often compare their status to other people their age. If their peers have more connections, they are considered more popular. 

Cyberbullying is common among teens and can affect a teen’s self-esteem. There is really no way to fully control who does and doesn’t see a post or. Teens leave negative feedback on their peers posts not realizing how much it effects them, be careful what you post and say to others online