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How social media can affect teens – 3 problems to be aware of 

Social media is a great platform for meeting new friends and catching up on emerging fun trends, but it must be used in moderation. 

bullying teens

Social media is a big part of everyday life. While it has some good sides, social media can also negatively affect its users, with teens being most at risk. 

According to a study conducted by Pew Research in 2018, 27% of 13-17-year-olds admitted that social media has led to more bullying, rumors spreading, and other negative effects on people their age.

Another 17% admitted that it has made human interactions less meaningful, causing harm to relationships. 

This article highlights the effects social media can have on teens and the problems you need to be aware of as a parent.

Effects of social media on teens

teenager sitting on the floor
Image: Unsplash

Depression and anxiety

If your teenage child is spending too much time on social media, they could be on their way to suffering a mental problem.

While experts cannot put the finger on exactly how social media causes mental problems in individuals spending long periods on these platforms, there is indisputable evidence to show a correlation.

Everyone posts the best moments on social media, which could leave others feeling like they are not good enough, resulting in decreased life satisfaction and, ultimately, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. 

Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition that distorts a person’s perceptions of themselves.

People suffering from body dysmorphic disorder focus on flaws in their appearance, however minor, from which they create a big deal. 

The areas of concern for a person with this condition may be barely noticeable to others.

Still, to the affected person, they are bad enough to cause them embarrassment, anxiety, and a reason to avoid social interactions.

This condition usually results from unrealistic standards people follow or admire on social media, like celebrities and influencers.

Teenagers may not know that the celebrity and the influencers’ posts they see use a lot of post-processing in images and video files and tons of makeup to conceal their flaws and look perfect for the camera.

Cyberbullying

emojis some sad some happy

While social media is a great place to meet new people, it also presents an opportunity for people with bad intentions to gain access to a person’s life and terrorize them.

A 2018 Pew Research study showed over 59% of American teens had been bullied at least once on the internet. Cyberbullies use different approaches.

For example, they could ask an individual to share explicit photos and videos of themselves and then use them to demand more pictures or videos while threatening them with leaking their explicit content if they do not comply.

Unfortunately, this kind of bullying is way too common and has resulted in suicide in many teens.

social media being looked at by ftc
Image: Unsplash

When another person is responsible for your injuries, you have a right to sue them for damages.

Since social media platforms do not generate content, they may not be directly responsible for the harm caused by their use.

However, they are responsible for ensuring their platforms are safe. If you or someone you love has suffered harm from social media use, you can sue them for damages.

Nevertheless, winning a case against social media companies can be challenging due to their financial superiority. Your best shot at winning is having a strong social media harm lawyer working on your case.

Final Words

Social media is a great platform for meeting new friends and catching up on emerging fun trends. Like many other good things, it must be used in moderation. 

As a parent, you may consider limiting your child’s hours on social media when they are relatively young.

One way of limiting access is putting away the gadgets they use to access social media after they have spent enough time with them. 

Also, having conversations about social media with them is a good idea to make informed decisions as they grow. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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