Skip to main content

How Social Media Affects Teen’s Self-Esteem

By February 13, 2023May 11th, 2023Uncategorized

Social media is a “collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration.” According to the Pew Research Center, social media is nearly ubiquitous in the lives of teenagers as many rely on social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc.) to find and connect with each other. A report published by Common Sense Media found that seventy-five percent of American teenagers have social media profiles. Additional statistics indicate 70% of teens ages 13 to 17 check their social media profiles more than once a day. One of the draws to social media is that an adolescent has full control over what they post and how they represent themselves. This can be initially empowering for a young person, but also instills a constant need for outside validation and approval from one’s peers, which can diminish self-esteem. Self-esteem is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “the degree to which the qualities and characteristics contained in one’s self-concept (one’s description and evaluation of oneself, including psychological and physical characteristics, qualities, skills, roles and so forth) are perceived to be positive… the more positive the cumulative perception of these qualities and characteristics, the higher one’s self-esteem.” The consequences of excessive social media use have become increasingly clear and can lead to secondary effects that harm self-esteem. Sleep, for example, is a fundamental necessity of life, and even a minor sleep deficit can cause unwanted physiological consequences. One study involving nearly 12,000 adolescents, found that overall, heavier social media use was associated with poorer sleep patterns, and participants with very high social media use were more likely than average users to report late sleep onset, late wake times, and difficulty falling back asleep after night-time waking. Although social comparison has long been a part of life, social media has greatly increased the number of opportunities to compare and the ways in which these types of comparison occur. Social media has been known to trigger comparison with others, which can raise doubts about self-worth. The Child Mind Institute asserts that excessive exposure to social media can contribute to unhappiness as it promotes anxiety, depression, and lowered self-esteem in teenagers. Although social media can have many positive effects, empirical data indicates that heavy online use is balanced by its negative outcomes and adverse effects on teens’ mental health and overall well-being.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


Close Menu
Back to top