Teens today live in a different world than their parents. According to Common Sense Media, 75% of all teenagers in America have social media profiles. While this may seem harmless at first glance, social media is a very serious and real challenge facing today’s youth. More than one-third of teens check in with their social networking sites multiple times every day.
This type of activity can become addictive and harmful to the teen brain and has been linked to teenage cases of anxiety and other mental health issues. Here’s what you should know about how social media causes anxiety in teens, and the difference in social media anxiety between girls and boys.
How Social Media Affects Teenagers
Brain scans reveal that social media activates certain regions of teen brains and causes them to want more. At the same time, teens who use social media are more susceptible to cyberbullying, sexting, peer pressure and other stressors that can cause anxiety and depression.
The larger a teenager’s virtual social circle, the more likely he or she is going to feel anxious about keeping up with online communications and personas. Additionally, keeping up with the ever-changing rules and etiquette surrounding teen social media culture can put excess pressure on teens. This pressure can in turn lead to increased feelings of anxiety. It would be beneficial to read more about controlled screen time for this lifestyle change can greatly improve your teen’s mental health.
Why Girls May Be More Susceptible to Depression From Social Media Than Boys
Research shows that girls may be more susceptible to depression from social media than boys. This may be because girls are generally more likely than boys to experience mental health issues. Research shows this may be due in part to fluctuations in hormone levels in girls, as well as different coping mechanisms.
Teen boys and girls also tend to spend their time online doing different things. Boys are more likely to spend their time gaming, while girls tend to text, use social media and spend more time on their smartphones. When texting someone else, teen girls may experience anxiety even if someone simply takes longer than expected to respond. There’s also the issue of unrealistic expectations created in online forums. Girls may feel like they have to meet high or impossible appearance and weight expectations. This can cause them to feel hopeless, inferior and depressed.
Talking to Your Child About Social Media Use
Whether you think your child has social media anxiety or not, it’s important to talk to him or her about appropriate social media use. Make sure your teen knows it is always safe to talk to you about anything that’s causing feelings of fear, anxiety or depression. Talk about keeping personal information safe online and set healthy boundaries.
Controlling screen time is one of Brillia's 5 pillars of helping control anxiety, along with improved nutrition, practicing mindfulness, improved sleep and taking Brillia. Brillia is a non-prescription medication that can help reduce these symptoms without harmful side effects.
Signs Social Media May Be Taking a Toll
There are many different signs that social media may be taking a toll on your teen. They include:
- Reduced self-esteem
- Dropping grades
- More isolated behaviors
- Increased anxiety and/or depression
- Increased attention-seeking and dangerous behaviors
Studies have also shown that increased screen time can mimic symptoms that can be misdiagnosed as ADHD and which can be controlled by controlling screen time without medication.
If you notice any of these issues in your teen, it’s time to take action. Social media anxiety can potentially develop into more serious, life-threatening issues if it is not addressed right away. Be sure to consult with your family doctor or psychiatrist if you are unable to help your teen manage his or her social media anxiety in a healthy and effective way.