Social Media Addiction in Teenagers By: Emily Mohs

Teenagers in American society are facing major life issues regarding social media. Many concerns first arise when a child obtains a phone, and last throughout most of that adolescent’s life.  A teen may face several challenges when accessing a social media account, including low self-esteem, diverse confidence levels, and varied anxiety levels. Some of the sites many teenagers encounter when getting a phone include Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. The Pew Research Center found that 73% of teenagers between the ages of thirteen and seventeen own smartphones and social media accounts. There are many negative and positive effects that can arise from having a social media account as a teenager.

The history of social media is a considerably less prominent subject than when many adults and parents of children with social media accounts were young. The first media site was not up and running until the early 2000’s. Christy Schutte, a specialist in social media explains, “Social media has grown over the past decade and has become an integral way of communicating for social reasons as well as for news and in marketing.” Several older aged people did not have to go through many of the negative effects social media now has on this generation of teens. It is important that many parents recognize that the world of social media may be destroying much of their child’s life. Many of the apps downloaded propose an immense threat for cyberbullying and safety concerns. A great deal of parents do not know that many of the apps show the exact location and address of that individual. Also, many social media account holders have their profiles on public, meaning anyone can witness what they post. There is also an issue with teens not being aware that when they post something, it is on social media forever. This leads numerous people to posting inappropriate pictures that may seem cool at the time, but eventually leads them into dreadful consequences. Christy Schutte implies, “Downfalls include that it takes you away from socializing with people that are actually right around you and also what you put on social media is forever!” It is important for parents to understand what their child is posting on social media, so when their child does get into a bind, they are able to provide support and advice.

Countless numbers of teens are facing severe penalties from owning a social media account. Many struggle with low self-confidence, anxiety, and a feeling of constant comparison of appearance to others. Tricia Woelfel, a mother of three teens asserts, “It is vital to keep social media apart of society, but there needs to be stricter rules regarding its influence on teenagers.” After posting a picture, many teens are continuously checking to see how many likes or comments they get. In that moment, that is the most important thing to them, and if something goes wrong in their eyes it can crash their entire world. Several teens also face the anxiety of not fitting in or being accepted through social media. Feeling of perfectionism can arise making more illnesses like depression and obsessive compulsive disorder common. Fear of missing out on events are also common in a teenager’s social media life. When opening social media accounts and seeing that all your friends are hanging out without you can be a toll on a teenager’s life and can make them upset. It is proven that if an individual owns a social media account they have or eventually will face one of these problems. It is time for society to put an end to the nonsense of comparing each other.

The University of Chicago has proven that social media is more addicting for teens then a cigarette is for a smoker. Many teens are more worried about cigarettes and alcohol because they can eventually cause cancer and severe illnesses. When joining a social media site, teens realize that there is no physical abuse, but they do not understand the mental hardships that come with it. It is important that parents are aware what their children are doing on the web. Social media is mainly there to remind and update people on things that are happening in other’s lives. Teenagers need to realize that a social media account is not what defines an individual as a person. Social media does have many great qualities, but also major downfalls that many teenagers do not recognize.

Works Cited

Anxiety.org. “Why Social Media Causes Anxiety.” Anxiety.org, 4 Sept. 2016, www.anxiety.org/social-media-causes-anxiety.

Schutte, Christy. Personal Interview. 19 November 2017.

Steyer, Carly. “8 Fascinating Facts About How Teens Use The Internet And Social Media.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 July 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tk-facts-about-teens-on-social-media-that-are-really-scary_us_55a7c6f0e4b0896514d06eab.

Thier, Dave. “Facebook More Addictive Than Cigarettes, Study Says.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 3 Feb. 2012, www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/02/03/facebook-more-addictive-than-cigarettes-study-says/#519cb40d2782.

Woelfel, Tricia. Personal Interview. 17 November 2017.

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