Social media can also cause behavioral addiction, which can cause teens to prioritize social media use over responsibilities such as schoolwork, chores, and extracurricular activities. Teens and social media can be a dangerous combination, as teens lack the maturity to understand the risks of posting inappropriate content. If your teen is suffering from a social media addiction, it’s vital to seek treatment at an adolescent treatment center such as Foothills at Red Oak.
Teens and Social Media
While teens and social media have been connected for over a decade, the popularity of platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram has exploded in recent years. The innovation and widespread use of smartphones have made it easy to access social media platforms regularly. Unfortunately, teens and social media can be a toxic mix.
Social media platforms are more popular than ever, especially among teens and high-schoolers. 51% of minors between the ages of 12 and 17 use social media daily. While social media can provide an effective and entertaining method to engage with friends and family members, it can also lead to risks. Social media can provide a collage of poor teen decisions, as teens may share illicit photos or engage in cyberbullying.
Some of the risks teens and social media use can cause include:
- Exposure to explicit content
- Sharing too much personal information
- Privacy problems
- Engaging with dangerous people, such as drug dealers or sexual predators
Although many teens and social media platforms work to reduce the risk of illegal behavior on their websites, it is impossible to prevent dangerous content from being posted online. If teens make a comment that includes threatening or harassing language, it can lead to legal consequences. For example, while a teen may think joking about hurting a peer is funny, it can be interpreted as a threat and lead to criminal charges. Things teens post on social media can also cause disciplinary problems at school.
Preventing Social Media Risks
Teens and social media pose additional issues, such as providing teens access to drugs and alcohol. Platforms like Instagram can create an opportunity for teens to connect with dangerous individuals. While teens may think it is safe to meet someone in person after engaging with them online, it can be hazardous.
While constantly monitoring your teen’s social media use may appear difficult, parents can use several techniques to limit access and use of social media. It is smart to limit the amount of time your teen spends online, which reduces the risks of your teen experiencing things like cyberbullying. You should monitor what websites your teen is accessing to ensure they are remaining safe while online.
You should discuss your teen’s social media and internet use with them to establish clear boundaries. If your teen accesses inappropriate content or is posting explicit content online, it is important to address the behavior immediately. This requires providing consequences, such as not allowing your child to access their phone for a set period.
Certain internet routers and smart home devices allow you to control how often your teen can access the internet. If you notice your teen is obsessively using social media, it is important to consider whether their behavior meets the criteria for behavioral addiction.
Like shopping and gambling, teens and social media use can result in psychological addiction. Since social media has nearly limitless content, teens can easily spend too much time engaging with others on these platforms. If your teen is using social media to access drugs or alcohol, it can demonstrate that they need substance abuse treatment.
Finding Treatment Today
With teens and social media becoming an increasingly common combination, many adolescents are exposed to potential risks on social media platforms. While social media can be a fun way to interact with friends, it can expose teens to controversial content and cyberbullying. If your teen is struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem, contact us today at 866.300.5275.