Teenagers love social media. From posting photographs to Instagram and participating in the latest TikTok dance craze, there is always a reason to be online. Yet sometimes, social media can become toxic for teens. And even worse: some have developed a social media addiction. Destinations for Teens provides teen internet addiction treatment who cannot separate themselves from electronic devices for long periods. Learn more by calling 877.466.0620. Below are some ways that social media addiction is negatively impacting teenagers.
Ways Social Media Is Toxic for Teens
Social media can be a good way for teens to connect over shared interests or identities. However, there are some dangers to social media that are important to explore and discuss with teens.
Teens can quickly become fixated on how they stack up to their peers and struggle with feeling inferior or insecure when they don’t measure up. This type of social comparison is a surefire way to start feeling down about yourself, and your self-esteem can take a hit if you’re constantly comparing yourself to someone else’s highlight reel.
Teens often appear confident and fearless. Yet, inside, they can be impressionable and easily manipulated. Social media is always present. Whether you are on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter, someone else will always post their lives. It is easy to view posts and not feel the need to compete or post photographs regularly. But for other teens, viewing posts can make them question if they are beautiful. Others might view drinking or drug use as cool, so they might feel the need to emulate photographs such as those mentioned. However, you can have an open dialogue with your teen about the images they are constantly viewing. You can also discuss the photographs your teen decides to post online as well. Unfortunately, the popularity of social media makes it easy for teens to share and become manipulated into believing they have to have a particular persona online. However, we can encourage our teens to be authentic.
Cyberbullying and Harassment
Social media is an easy place for teens to voice their voices and share their opinions. But sometimes, teens can go too far and share negative, mean, and false information about others. This type of behavior is called cyberbullying and is prevalent among teens. The purpose is to embarrass and, in some cases, humiliate a peer. However, cyberbullying is not to be taken lightly. Teens have had physical altercations because of cyberbullying. In addition, there have been many instances where teens have committed suicide due to cyberbullying. Consider the following treatment options if you think your child may be at risk:
Teens need help in becoming aware of their actions and their consequences. Therefore, discussing with your teen how they share information online is essential. Is it purposeful? Could it harm others? By having an open dialogue about cyberbullying, you will be helping your teen to become aware of their actions. It’s also important to note that teens could be in danger of being in contact with predators and other adults who wish them harm. It’s imperative to discuss these dangers with your teen to be safe and know they can come to you with anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
If you have a teen in the house with access to social media, you will notice that they are always on their phones. And in some cases, teens stay up all night and binge on social media platforms. Many teens check their phones more than ten times throughout the night. Staying up all night and scrolling through Instagram or Twitter feeds is the new normal for many teens. Some are even constantly uploading TikTok videos or posting to Facebook or Instagram in the wee hours of the night. Unfortunately, social media can be toxic for teens because it can significantly disrupt the sleep pattern of teens and young adults. And when teens have disrupted sleep patterns, they cannot function effectively during the day in school or actively participate in activities.
Treatment for Social Media Addiction
If your teen is struggling with social media addiction, then it might be time to consider a treatment option. Our staff is dedicated to helping teens explore the boundaries of the digital world and become more mindful of their technology use. Some treatment modalities that help with social media addiction include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — A form of talk therapy that helps teens learn how to recognize and manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
- Mindfulness Meditation — This evidence-based practice encourages teens to become more aware of the present moment. Through this meditation, teens can better understand their thoughts and feelings and become more mindful of their technology use
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) — A type of talk therapy that uses cognitive and mindfulness techniques to help teens learn how to cope with difficult emotions or stressful situations
- Group Therapy — Teens can benefit from group therapy, which helps them connect with other teens with similar experiences and feelings about social media usage
At Destinations for Teens, we understand the dangers of social media and are dedicated to providing a safe environment for teens to explore their boundaries within the digital world.
Internet Addiction Treatment Helps Teens Live Healthier Lives
Undoubtedly, technology allows us to communicate in more extraordinary ways than ever before — allowing the world to evolve. While social media has many benefits, it is vital to monitor your teen’s social media interactions. If you believe your teen is addicted to social media, contact Destinations for Teens 877.466.0620 for help.
References Drivers of online social media addiction in the context of public unrest: A sense of virtual community perspective, Science Direct Mijail Naranjo-Zolotova, Ofir Turel, Tiago Oliveira, Jorge Edison Lascanoc (2021)