Almost every teen enjoys connecting with peers online, but parents may worry about how social media affects self-esteem. Social media and self-esteem can have a positive or negative relationship, depending on how it’s used and the teen’s individual development. However, there’s no denying that social media addiction is destructive for young people on many levels.
If you’re worried your adolescent boy may be addicted to social media or is struggling with other process addictions, contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today at 866.300.5275.
Social Media, Self-Esteem, and Your Teen
A recent Pew Research Center survey of 750 teenagers found that 97% used a social media platform like Instagram or Snapchat, and nearly half had almost constant online access.
For parents who try to monitor their teens’ social media consumption, it seems like teenagers are always online. They may wonder, “How does social media affect self-esteem when my teen uses it daily?”
How does social media affect self-esteem? Many experts agree that the visual overstimulation of too much social media recreates the fight-or-flight mode in the body’s nervous system.
This can worsen disorders like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. To complicate matters more, some researchers found that depressed teens spend more time on social media than their peers.
This shows that the social media/self-esteem connection goes both ways. Social media and low self-esteem have a bidirectional relationship.
How Social Media Affects Self Esteem
How does social media affect self-esteem? Many factors can affect your teenage boy’s self-esteem, and social media is one of them. However, the link between social media and self-esteem is often seen only as a negative one.
Social media can positively impact teens who feel isolated due to chronic illness, disability, or identity issues. Being part of an online network gives disenfranchised teens a place to find support and be part of a community.
Some platforms emphasize healthy living or expose young people to current international events they may not be aware otherwise. Social media can also provide humor and light-hearted distraction from the stress many teens deal with day-to-day.
For some teens, the connection between self-esteem and social media is positive. However, there is also a dark side to social media.
Social Media and Low Self-Esteem
The link between self-esteem and social media is best determined by how much time a teen spends online. One study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that more social media use put teens at a higher risk for poor mental health.
Some of the negative effects of social media include:
- Increased risk of cyberbullying
- Associating post “likes” with personal worth
- Poor sleep
- Increased anxiety, including anxiety attacks
- Less satisfaction with life due to constant comparison with unrealistic images
- Poor social skills due to fewer in-person interactions
- Poor body image
The overuse of social media and low self-esteem are closely connected. A clinical study published by Sage Journals reported that teen depression and suicide rates increased dramatically between 2010 and 2015. In general, social media and screen use are often blamed for this increase.
Another study published by the National Library of Medicine showed that teens who access social media for seven or more hours each day were at much higher risk of being treated by a mental health professional, diagnosed with depression, or prescribed medication for a psychological concern than teens who limited social media to about 60 minutes per day.
Find Help for Teen Social Media Addiction at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Process addictions like social media addiction are mental health disorders that sometimes require professional intervention. If you’re worried about your teenage boy’s level of social media use or if you have questions about how social media affects self-esteem, the experienced team at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is here to help. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275 today to learn more.