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How Social Media Can Directly Affect Your Teen’s Self-Esteem

The technological revolution, including social media, is everywhere – it’s the rare family indeed that can completely eliminate smart phones, tablets, computers or electronic devices. From toddlers to preschoolers to pre-teens and adolescents, our children are immersed in technology almost from the day that they are born. Studies have been done on the effects of social media and various age groups, including teens. But how does social media affect your teen’s self-esteem? Does it play a role in the lives of troubled teen boys? This infographic provides additional visual data on social media and teens.

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Courtesy of: Sundance Canyon Academy – A Therapeutic Boarding School for Troubled Teen Boys

The Missing Element

Teens seem to be online whenever they aren’t in school, and sometimes even when they are. Texts, posts, shared information, trolls and the like are almost as essential to many teens as eating. New methods of communication and interaction have replaced phone calls and spending time at the mall. Now, instead of hearing a friend’s voice or connecting with them in person, they can spend their social time online. They lose that valuable skill of picking up on non-verbal cues, which makes up an estimated 93 percent of communication, including tone of voice, facial expressions and body language.

Complications From Too Much Screen Time

The problem of too much screen time does not occur in a vacuum. For example, children today are only outside an average of 30 minutes each week, apart from structured activities. In addition, the time spent staring at a screen could be affecting a child’s eyesight, and one study confirmed that kids who are outside more are less likely to be nearsighted. Another study connected increased obesity and attention deficit disorder with excessive computer time.

Social Media and Technology Addictions

Even worse, screen time can develop into a full blown addiction. The data shows that teens send about 60 texts each day. However, about one-fifth of these text twice as much with kids easily spending more than three hours each day on line. One 2011 study from The Nation’s Health shows that excessive texting and networking result in numerous health problems for young people, including teen boys. These problems range from absences at school to substance abuse and more.

Connections Between Social Media and Self-Esteem

These are just some of the ways that social media affects a child’s self-esteem, including teen boys.

  1. Unrealistic ideas that life consists of wonderful social media posts. Most people, teens included, post about the positives in their lives and not the struggles. This gives teens the impression that everyone else has it easy. Teens don’t see the struggles behind the scenes.
  2. Difficulty in developing real-life connections. Sometimes it’s easier to remain uninvolved in an anonymous forum as opposed to relating to someone in person, as messy as the later can be.
  3. Dealing with trolls emboldened by the anonymity of the Internet. Let’s face it – there are mean people who like nothing more than to bully others behind a screen. The meanness can be devastating to sensitive teens.
  4. Limiting exercise. Exercise helps boost morale and self-esteem. Every day has just 24 hours, so a minute spent indoors can’t be spent outside in healthier activities.
  5. Enjoyment of life apart from screen time. Teens need to learn to enjoy a wide range of activities without worrying about social media. When they return to the screen, they will have more to share, and the opinions of anonymous users might not matter so much.
Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

16 comments

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  • I know that social media is how I make my living, but I have to say that the amount of time that today’s teens spend on social media is a bit scary. They are not as socially adept when it comes to real life situations as we were when we were younger, and they are becoming increasingly withdrawn.

  • This is so true. Nowadays teens are superexposed to everything social media brings, sometimes there are positive aspects about it, but there’s negative info in the same amount

  • My kids are all grown now. They were so active in sports as teens, that they rarely had time to be on social media. I can certainly see how too much social media can be a problem with teens and their self-esteem.

  • This is a great way to look at how social media can impact teenagers. I like how the info-graphic doesn’t only focus on negative effects but rather looks at ways to incorporate social media into a more healthy and beneficial activity.

  • A very interesting infographic. Having three teenage girls I’m painfully aware of how easily social media can become a problem. although it does have benefits, especially when their school friends live a long way away.

  • It’s a pity that something that could provide ways to connect with people globally can quickly turn into a nightmare. I think it’s important for parents to have conversations with their teens about the uses and abuses of social media … naivete is dangerous!

  • This is a really eye-opening infographic. Social media gets a bad rap a lot of time, but there definitely are some benefits too. It’s all about open communciation with teens and staying engaged and aware as a parent.

About Author

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +