• Nicole Ordubegian

Social media negatively impacts a teenager’s self esteem

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

In a world with technology surrounding people in their daily lives, social media has become a primary method for people all over the world to connect and share their lives through a screen. We rely on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to find and connect with people. Social media has dominated the younger generation’s daily lives.

The pressure to always be available on social media makes it no surprise that teenagers checking social media is a part of their daily lives. A study by AACP shows that 51% of teenagers visit a social media site daily. It also says the teenagers are online for an average of almost nine hours a day. Social media negatively impacts the way teenagers see themselves which can become very damaging to their self esteem and how they view themselves. When people look online at someone’s post, a celebrity for example, it can make you feel insecure about how you look or even how you’re living your life.

Constantly scrolling through social media and looking at other people’s posts can cause teens to have a negative body image, which makes the person feel unsatisfied with how they look, causing a huge toll on mental health. It can also make them feel like they can’t fit in and feel unwanted as well.

Social media created an online persona for people to live their lives through, causing teens to be living their lives through their phones, not experiencing all the wonders reality has to offer. Since many things on social media are not real, this enables teens to live through a bubble that doesn’t show the realities of the world.

As many people know, the majority of photos online are edited. This creates high expectations for beauty standards and makes teenagers feel bad about themselves when they don’t “fit in” with how the media portrays people their age. Many shows on television depict teenagers to have the perfect body type, always looking flawless, and simply looking perfect with no effort.

Society’s beauty standards cause unnecessary harm to teens who want to live life their own way. Social media contributes to this because it makes teenagers feel disappointed about their lives and looks, contributing to a feeling of inadequacy.

Self esteem is the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities, so when someone feels good about themselves, their self esteem rises, along with how they feel about themselves. Teens all over the world compare themselves to others which makes them think horribly of themselves. By looking at the world through a distorted view on social media, an unhealthy obsession with looking perfect on social media arises; also known as a negative self image.

The level of perfection many teenagers try to achieve on social media does not exist which leads those people to believe that if they are not perfect in all ways possible, they do not deserve to be worthy of anything. In reality, it’s all fake and makes people view themselves in an extremely negative way.

Many mental health issues can arise from the increase of social media use within teenagers, such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. It’s become a real epidemic among teens today, and is getting more and more concerning every day. It then becomes hard for teens to open up about how they feel about themselves.

Their self esteem becomes even more damaged with how much of a longer time teens spend on social media. Many people find new insecurities about themselves from being on social media and it causes a distorted self image.

Older generations constantly ask: why are teenagers on social media so much? A reason for that could be the fear of missing out on anything remotely interesting being shown online and even just having something to look at online. For example, if a high schooler isn’t on social media, it’s seen as “weird” considering that so many of them use it daily.

Despite the many positives of social media platforms, teenagers all over the world become vulnerable to mental health issues that ultimately harm them. To decrease these feelings, teenagers can take breaks from social media for a specific amount of time for their mental health to recover. It’s extremely refreshing for teens, like myself for example, to feel much better after taking that break of being online for a long amount of time.