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How Teenagers Can Manage the Pressures of Social Media

Posted Jun 22, 2016

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Summary

  • Teens, especially girls, compare themselves with others on social media.
     
  • The amount and types of responses they get affects their self-esteem.

Most everyone wishes to be popular or to have the approval of others. People want to be liked no matter what their age, but it is especially true for teens. Popularity has never been so easy to track either, thanks largely to social media.

Today’s teen not only desires to be popular, but is often obsessed with it. That’s because social media, along with one’s peers, are keeping score. Online friends, followers, likes, comments, favorites, shares, and retweets are constantly being tallied. To many teens these numbers, or lack of numbers, equate directly to their feelings of self-worth. This is particularly true of teen girls.

The plus side is that the instant feedback from a post or photo can be highly affirming. Seeing the number of rising likes and reading all the positive comments can make one’s day. Of course, the opposite is also true. If few people respond, or if they respond negatively, it can be very hurtful. This is even more the case when a teen posts a “selfie.” He is saying to the world “here I am” and no one is responding. Even worse is when people respond with hateful comments. No one likes to be called “ugly” or “fat.” It is all the more devastating to be called that online for all to see.

Selfie-worth

Generally speaking, a teen girl won’t just snap a quick picture of herself and instantly share it online. More likely, a lot of pre and post “production” has gone into that shot. Putting just the right clothes, pose, makeup, hairstyle, and smile together can take time. Add to that the lighting and focusing concerns and you begin to see the problem. All this can require dozens and dozens of retakes.

Once the best photo is carefully selected, there is still the issue of choosing the right filter. Some girls will send several versions to their friends first for their approval. It should be of no surprise then that after all this trouble, expectations will be high. Neither should we be surprised by the disappointment when those expectations are not met.

Self-worth

Teenagers need to realize that many of their friends, and enemies, are putting forth the same effort. That “perfect” photo you just liked, but secretly hated, may have taken hours to produce. No one will ever see all the bad shots she deleted from her smartphone. Teens should try their best not to compare themselves with others. They should also not base their self-worth on reaction to their latest selfie.

The truth is, every time a teenager checks his social media feed he is likely to compare himself with others. This can happen quite a bit too. Many teens check in to social media throughout the day, even while at school. What they often notice is that many of their peers seem to be having a better time. They might even see their close friends having a good time without them. This feeling of being excluded can cause the person to withdraw from his friends in real life. If not dealt with, this may eventually lead to depression.

Again, it is important to remember that not everything online is what it seems. Most people try to present themselves in the best possible manner. Therefore, we probably will not see pictures posted of them sitting at home alone.

Resource

“Why some 13-year-olds check social media 100 times a day,” by Chuck Hadad, CNN.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System Inc., www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/health/being-13-teens-social-media-study/ and www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/opinions/underwood-faris-being-thirteen-lurking-social-media/index.html

Summary

  • Teens, especially girls, compare themselves with others on social media.
     
  • The amount and types of responses they get affects their self-esteem.

Most everyone wishes to be popular or to have the approval of others. People want to be liked no matter what their age, but it is especially true for teens. Popularity has never been so easy to track either, thanks largely to social media.

Today’s teen not only desires to be popular, but is often obsessed with it. That’s because social media, along with one’s peers, are keeping score. Online friends, followers, likes, comments, favorites, shares, and retweets are constantly being tallied. To many teens these numbers, or lack of numbers, equate directly to their feelings of self-worth. This is particularly true of teen girls.

The plus side is that the instant feedback from a post or photo can be highly affirming. Seeing the number of rising likes and reading all the positive comments can make one’s day. Of course, the opposite is also true. If few people respond, or if they respond negatively, it can be very hurtful. This is even more the case when a teen posts a “selfie.” He is saying to the world “here I am” and no one is responding. Even worse is when people respond with hateful comments. No one likes to be called “ugly” or “fat.” It is all the more devastating to be called that online for all to see.

Selfie-worth

Generally speaking, a teen girl won’t just snap a quick picture of herself and instantly share it online. More likely, a lot of pre and post “production” has gone into that shot. Putting just the right clothes, pose, makeup, hairstyle, and smile together can take time. Add to that the lighting and focusing concerns and you begin to see the problem. All this can require dozens and dozens of retakes.

Once the best photo is carefully selected, there is still the issue of choosing the right filter. Some girls will send several versions to their friends first for their approval. It should be of no surprise then that after all this trouble, expectations will be high. Neither should we be surprised by the disappointment when those expectations are not met.

Self-worth

Teenagers need to realize that many of their friends, and enemies, are putting forth the same effort. That “perfect” photo you just liked, but secretly hated, may have taken hours to produce. No one will ever see all the bad shots she deleted from her smartphone. Teens should try their best not to compare themselves with others. They should also not base their self-worth on reaction to their latest selfie.

The truth is, every time a teenager checks his social media feed he is likely to compare himself with others. This can happen quite a bit too. Many teens check in to social media throughout the day, even while at school. What they often notice is that many of their peers seem to be having a better time. They might even see their close friends having a good time without them. This feeling of being excluded can cause the person to withdraw from his friends in real life. If not dealt with, this may eventually lead to depression.

Again, it is important to remember that not everything online is what it seems. Most people try to present themselves in the best possible manner. Therefore, we probably will not see pictures posted of them sitting at home alone.

Resource

“Why some 13-year-olds check social media 100 times a day,” by Chuck Hadad, CNN.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System Inc., www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/health/being-13-teens-social-media-study/ and www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/opinions/underwood-faris-being-thirteen-lurking-social-media/index.html

Summary

  • Teens, especially girls, compare themselves with others on social media.
     
  • The amount and types of responses they get affects their self-esteem.

Most everyone wishes to be popular or to have the approval of others. People want to be liked no matter what their age, but it is especially true for teens. Popularity has never been so easy to track either, thanks largely to social media.

Today’s teen not only desires to be popular, but is often obsessed with it. That’s because social media, along with one’s peers, are keeping score. Online friends, followers, likes, comments, favorites, shares, and retweets are constantly being tallied. To many teens these numbers, or lack of numbers, equate directly to their feelings of self-worth. This is particularly true of teen girls.

The plus side is that the instant feedback from a post or photo can be highly affirming. Seeing the number of rising likes and reading all the positive comments can make one’s day. Of course, the opposite is also true. If few people respond, or if they respond negatively, it can be very hurtful. This is even more the case when a teen posts a “selfie.” He is saying to the world “here I am” and no one is responding. Even worse is when people respond with hateful comments. No one likes to be called “ugly” or “fat.” It is all the more devastating to be called that online for all to see.

Selfie-worth

Generally speaking, a teen girl won’t just snap a quick picture of herself and instantly share it online. More likely, a lot of pre and post “production” has gone into that shot. Putting just the right clothes, pose, makeup, hairstyle, and smile together can take time. Add to that the lighting and focusing concerns and you begin to see the problem. All this can require dozens and dozens of retakes.

Once the best photo is carefully selected, there is still the issue of choosing the right filter. Some girls will send several versions to their friends first for their approval. It should be of no surprise then that after all this trouble, expectations will be high. Neither should we be surprised by the disappointment when those expectations are not met.

Self-worth

Teenagers need to realize that many of their friends, and enemies, are putting forth the same effort. That “perfect” photo you just liked, but secretly hated, may have taken hours to produce. No one will ever see all the bad shots she deleted from her smartphone. Teens should try their best not to compare themselves with others. They should also not base their self-worth on reaction to their latest selfie.

The truth is, every time a teenager checks his social media feed he is likely to compare himself with others. This can happen quite a bit too. Many teens check in to social media throughout the day, even while at school. What they often notice is that many of their peers seem to be having a better time. They might even see their close friends having a good time without them. This feeling of being excluded can cause the person to withdraw from his friends in real life. If not dealt with, this may eventually lead to depression.

Again, it is important to remember that not everything online is what it seems. Most people try to present themselves in the best possible manner. Therefore, we probably will not see pictures posted of them sitting at home alone.

Resource

“Why some 13-year-olds check social media 100 times a day,” by Chuck Hadad, CNN.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System Inc., www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/health/being-13-teens-social-media-study/ and www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/opinions/underwood-faris-being-thirteen-lurking-social-media/index.html

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