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5 Negative Effects of Social Media for Teens

Teen experiencing the negative effects of social media

Today, social media dominates the lives of America’s teenagers. In fact, the majority of all teens spend hours and hours each day on social media platforms. There are some potential upsides to all of this modern connectivity. However, there can also be a tremendous downside. Every day, adolescents throughout the country experience some form of social media-related harm—often affecting their important relationships. Fortunately, teen relationship counseling can help undo this harm.

Does your child need counseling? Awareness of the negative effects of social media on mental health can help you answer this vital question. Call 888.291.2309 to speak with someone from Imagine Fort Collins about the negative effects of social media on relationships and mental health.

Factors Impacting the Negative Effects of Social Media

Social media use is not harmful in and of itself. Across the world, teens and adults benefit from the internet and social media access. Examples of the upsides of this access include:

  • A convenient way to connect with friends and family
  • A way to forge and strengthen new friendships and relationships
  • Greater awareness of other cultures and societies
  • A broader perspective on the world and life in general
  • Ways to connect to others even in restrictive social environments

But the simple fact is that many people use social media for less favorable reasons. And even seemingly positive intent can lead to unintended harm. Research has clarified some of the key underlying factors in the negative impact of social media use.

One notable factor is how often your teen accesses social media. Generally speaking, the longer the daily exposure, the greater the risks for adverse outcomes. Your child’s social media behaviors can also play a role. Though it might seem counterintuitive, teens who participate passively tend to suffer more harm than active, engaged users.

5 Common Negative Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Much of the negative impact of social media falls on your child’s mental health. Specific issues that are widespread among teen users include:

  1. Increased risks for depression and anxiety disorders
  2. Trauma caused by exposure to cyberbullying
  3. Insecurity based on envy or fear of missing out
  4. Heightened chances of developing a poor body image
  5. Behavioral addiction to social media itself

There are also other potentially negative effects of social media on mental health. For example, excessive exposure to social media is linked to the development of poor sleep habits. Your teen may also develop unrealistic expectations about life and its setbacks and rewards.

Additional Negative Effects of Social Media on Relationships

The negative effects of social media are not limited to your teen’s internal mental state. They can also extend to their relationships with others. Potential negative effects of social media on your child’s relationships include the following:

  • Reduced quality time with friends and loved ones
  • A lower level of satisfaction with meaningful relationships
  • Increased risks for various forms of relationship infidelity

Heavy social media use can make it harder for teens to interact with others in real life. In some cases, this difficulty is related to increased social anxiety. However, a more common issue is a need for more practice in talking to others in person. Your teen may need help to form or maintain this direct connection.

Learn More About the Negative Effects of Social Media at Imagine Fort Collins

Concerned your child is being negatively affected by social media? The experts at Imagine Ft. Collins are here for you. We can answer any question about social media’s impact on teens’ relationships and mental health.

At Imagine Fort Collins, we specialize in customized teen counseling services. With our help, your child can gain greater awareness of how social media use harms them. They can also take crucial steps to restore their well-being. Contact Imagine Fort Collins today at 888.291.2309 for more information, or reach out to our team through our online form.