With the advent of social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, more and more people are able to connect globally.
Whether its teenagers, kids, young adults, or the older generation, the prevalence of social media is high, with 211.39 million users recorded in just the U.S. in 2018.
Statistics show that the highest number of social media users is between the ages of 12 and 24 and that teenagers are constantly using the internet.
A survey study conducted by Pew Research Center aims to explore how social media has impacted teenagers.
It concluded that almost 95% of teenagers have access to smartphones and more than 45% admitted to being constantly online on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Let’s take a look at the pressures that teenagers face due to social media.
Demands of Social Media on Teens
The Pressure to Fit In With the Crowd
Teenagers are at a very vulnerable age where they’re easily influenced by their friends. With the innovation in technology and the internet, teenagers are significantly affected by peer pressure.
They wish to be accepted by their friends and appear hip, cool, and mature in front of their peers.
This leads them to imitate others and showcase a life similar to their friends on social media.
Whether it’s through lying, deceiving, or sharing inappropriate things, teenagers want to just fit in with the rest of the crowd and not be labeled as ‘weird’ or a ‘loser.’
Decreased Social Skills
Interaction on social media is limited to words, emoticons, and memes. There is no physical face to face interaction involved, which greatly impacts the social skills of teenagers.
The isolation from the world leads to more awkward teenagers that don’t know how to talk to other people and use correct social cues during conversations.
A significant problem faced by the internet community, cyber bullying can have detrimental effects on the mental health of the youth.
From being forced to reveal secrets and post controversial things, teenagers have a hard time navigating social media.
Online death threats, cyber attacks, and bullying by peers can lead to social expulsion and feelings of inadequacy. This may propel some kids to commit suicide to end the toxic cycle.
Comparison Can Be Toxic
With thousands of pictures, posts, and altered reality being presented on the internet, teenagers can have a skewed perspective about the world.
By constantly comparing their boring and uneventful life with the happening and fancy lives of their friends, teenagers fall into the pit of depression, loneliness, and sadness.
Pressure To Engage In Certain Behaviors
If teens see their friends sharing intimate photos or dating people online, their impressionable minds will also pressure them to do the same.
With the hype of social media and people sharing their likes, dislikes, pictures, and private information freely, predators can take advantage of children,
By pressuring underage teens to share intimate photographs and blackmailing them, the internet can be a savage place for unprotected and misguided teens.
What Can Parents Do?
Talk to your kids about their life. Get them to open up about the troubles they’re facing at school, with their friends or on social media.
If your kids are below 18, restrict their phone usage and put parental controls on the internet to restrict certain websites.
A parent knows their kids best. Don’t let your kids have a social media account until you feel that they’re mature enough to handle.
For a more in-depth and foolproof way of keeping an eye on your kid’s online activity, install monitoring phone apps like PhoneSpector.
It allows parents to keep an eye on their children’s phones, informs them of their Facebook activity, collects phone call and message information, and keeps a track of their internet browser history.
Our phone tracking software is compatible with Android and iPhone devices. Invest in one of the best monitoring apps and look out for any suspicious activity!