Verywell/ Lara Antal
Over the last couple of years social media has become a growing concern among teens. Social media plays a vital role in teens’ mental health and the way they live.
Social media can have a positive effect on a teens life, if used in the right way. Teens can develop social skills, express themselves and learn about issues going on around the world.
Although if used excessively or in the wrong way social media can affect teens in a harmful way. Anxiety, depression, bullying and self esteem issues tend to be seen in higher amounts among teens on social media.
A 2019 study of more than 6,500 12-to 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that “those who spent more than three hours a day using social media might be at heightened risk for mental health problems.”
Teen mental health can be affected by what media psychologist Don Grant calls ‘compare and despair.’ This essentially means that teens see others living a certain way on social media and then they begin comparing themselves to others.
Social media should be a positive aspect of a teens life not something that will cause harm to their mental health.
The negative effects of social media can be avoided in a few ways. Limiting the amount of time spent on social media, connecting with friends in person rather than online, and taking breaks from social media.