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Social Media Effects on Teen Stress and Anxiety

Person pondering the social media effects on teen stress

Social media has become an integral part of modern society in the past couple of decades. This is true for people of all ages, as there seems to be an ever-increasing number of platforms for any demographic imaginable. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok have ingrained themselves into the lives of adolescents worldwide. While, on the surface, it may seem that spending time on these social media channels is harmless, many parents are concerned that too much social media could affect their children’s mental health.

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health and social media’s effect on teens, they may benefit from mental health treatment programs. Many adolescents are struggling with depression, anxiety, or interpersonal troubles. We offer teens comprehensive mental and behavioral health programs at Imagine Fort Collins. Every patient receives a personalized treatment plan that considers their specific treatment needs. Our compassionate and skilled medical team can help your teen get through the stress and worry brought about by new, unfamiliar life experiences. To learn more about what we can offer you and your child, contact us at 888.291.2309.

Social Media Effects on Teen Stress

Parents and mental health experts are often worried about the effect of social media on teen mental health. This is because there are several significant differences between online socializing and real-life communication. When interacting through social media and other online communication channels, adolescents will often miss out on things such as:

  • Body language
  • Facial expressions
  • Other non-verbal communication

These missed cues can often lead to miscommunication and hurt feelings. Studies have found that teenagers who spend more time on electronic devices risk developing factors that may lead to suicide attempts. Indeed, the idea of a teen being reduced to tears due to online bullying and social media shaming has wormed its way into pop culture and almost become a trope in movies and television.

Social media’s effects on teens also have an impact on their self-image. Easily-available editing software can make pictures look perfect and unattainable. Teens can get wrapped up in displaying this ideal persona for their social media followers. However, since this persona does not match reality, they often feel stressed because they cannot live up to the perfect standards they have set for themselves.

An influx of positive social media engagement can become almost like a drug for some teens. Through likes and follows, teens can get a misleading measurement of how much people like them. The constant barrage of notifications from phones and other electronic devices can also keep teens from focusing on interacting in the real world. This, in turn, makes it difficult for them to engage in face-to-face communication, furthering the gap between the online persona and their actual self-image.

How to Help a Teen with Social Media Stress

Professional mental health treatment is the most effective way to help a stressed teen. However, parents can also help by teaching their children how to reduce the adverse effects of social media on teens by setting healthy boundaries. This does not just involve how much time they spend on social media platforms but also how they respond to communication over social media. For instance, you can teach your teen how to stay safe by avoiding unsafe social media trends or how to ignore or block people who are being toxic or offensive.

Limiting time on social media and electronic devices can also be effective. It’s well-researched that using cellphones and laptops before bedtime can affect the duration and quality of sleep, which may exacerbate teen stress even further. Parents can model better behavior for their children by putting away their electronic devices when it’s time for in-person communication or shared family activities.

Learn More About Mental Health at Imagine Fort Collins

At Imagine Fort Collins, we understand that adolescents are under much pressure in modern society. Stress and anxiety are everyday and expected for teenagers, as they are undergoing many life changes in a short period. However, it may be time to get treatment when pressure begins to have adverse behavioral and health effects.

If you are concerned that your child may be struggling due to stress and are considering getting them professional treatment, our experienced and compassionate mental health professionals are ready to help. We offer practical, evidence-based therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma therapy, crisis intervention, and interpersonal therapy (IPT). These are just a few of the treatment programs we have for teens aged 13 to 17. To learn more about what we can do for your teen, contact us at 888.291.2309.