Social media has negative effects on young teens

By Lisa Placeres ‘24

Many teens today use social media, whether that be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok. Teens tend to spend a large majority of their time on these apps not knowing the side effects that come with them.

One negative effect that social media has on young teens is that it limits the number of social interactions that teens have. According to researchers in 2019, American teens spent more than seven hours a day on social media. 

The more time teens spend on social media, the less time they spend being outside with their friends or spending time with their family. The more time away from actual human interactions that teens need, the more anti-social they will become over time.

Teenagers are known to need the most sleep out of all age groups. Their brains are still developing and they need rest. Instead of sleeping, teens tend to scroll through social media for hours before bed.

  Teens need around eight to ten hours of sleep each night and being distracted on a bright screen can take away from that. This leads to them being tired all day at school, not being focused, and overall not performing their best throughout the day. 

Social media also takes a negative toll on young teens’ self-esteem. For instance, on the app Instagram, you can post short videos or a picture and receive likes and comments. Many teens tend to look at the number of likes and comments and compare them to what other people receive. 

Scrolling on social media also means young teens are being exposed to unrealistic beauty standards. Many of them tend to compare themselves to others and dwell on it. Not only can this lower their self-esteem, but it can also lead to more serious health problems, mental problems, or even suicide.  

In addition to this, there is also a lot of cyberbullying on social media. Whether that be an older person picking on someone younger behind a screen or someone commenting rude and disrespectful things under someone’s post, teenagers are known to take these things to heart instead of ignoring the situation or talking to someone about it which can lead to depression. 

Something needs to change whether that be limiting the time spent on social media or having positive changes in the world of social media.