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We oldies have suspected it all along; the social media has adverse impacts on the young folk. We, as parents and guardians, need to know how social media affects teenagers and how the supposed leisurely time they spend on social media is turning them into an uncertain person. The time teens spend on social media is wrought by the competition to get more followers or more likes on their posts, and if nothing else, they post selfies on Instagram. Teens’ self-esteem is at the mercy of likes, shares, comments and retweets on social media websites. Social media and self-esteem have a relationship, mostly not a positive one though.
In a study conducted in the first quarter of the year, teens were found to increase the use of social media as they aged. Kids were first interviewed at ages 8 to 9 and then at the ages of 12 to 13. They were asked questions about their social media habits and self-esteem issues. 90% of them were active on Facebook having an average of 475 friends and were uploading pictures of them. The most astonishing fact that the researchers found out was that over the time period in which the study was conducted, the use of social media website had increased from 45 minutes to two and a half hours. Teens have a lot of troubles to deal with, peer pressure can hurt their self-identity.
According to the study, an average American teen spent 10% of his or her day on social media website. The study also suggested that the more time teens spent logged in to a social media website, the more he or she is likely to face issues related to a low self-esteem, identity and depression.
Teenagers have access to the social media 24 hours a day. Most of them sleep with their mobile phones with a social media website logged in. They learn what they are and what they ought to be through their social media networks rather than their parents and family.
Trouble is that if they are listening to amateur teenagers, just like themselves, with as little knowledge and experience as they have, rather than their loving and concerned parents, they are sure to develop feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.
Back in our days when we came home from school, we used to establish a connection with our families and were disconnected from our school life and friends. Parents had an equal influence in our lives as our fellow teenagers had when we were cementing our identities and self-esteem.
Today after school, a teen’s room is his or her favorite haunt where they continue to be exposed to wrong messages from other teenagers. Constant exposure to one kind of opinion will not only affect their identity but will also sabotage their self-esteem. Their emotional wellbeing for the rest of their lives utterly depends on discovering who they are, by hearing it from the loving parents and not from other teens that are just as clueless as they are.