How Does Social Media Impact Teens?

How Does Social Media Impact Teens?

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is arguably one of the most influential people in modern history. This is most certainly true in the realm of technology. He not only helped to bring the revolution of the home personal computer, but he eventually brought that computing power into the world’s pockets and purses. The social media revolution soon followed.

Elevating the world of cellular phones, the iPhone, and the iPad brought connectivity to a new level. In tandem with the internet, people are now continually connected like never before in history. However, you may be surprised to discover how Jobs treated this technology within his own family.

When once asked how much his children “must love the iPad,” Jobs responded that they “never used it.” This is because Jobs was an early adopter of the dangers of the addiction potential of devices, especially social media. Today, this prediction has long been proven true.

Social Media and Teenagers

Social media is a part of almost every teenager’s life. There are very real risks regarding how much time teenagers spend on social media and how it relates to their mental health. Social media use directly correlates to teenage mental health, sleep patterns, and substance abuse potential. However, there are solutions to these problems.

Here at Roots Through Recovery, we take an individualized approach toward each of our client’s recovery. This includes creating a healthy relationship with social media and treating the potential damage it may have already done. 

The Correlation Between Social Media and Mental Health

According to a study reported in the 2019 journal Jama Psychiatry, “[O]f 6595 US adolescents [studied], increased time spent using social media per day was prospectively associated with increased odds of reporting high levels of internalizing and comorbid internalizing and externalizing problems, even after adjusting for history of mental health problems.” This is just one of numerous studies and reports showing social media’s adverse effects on teens.

It is also important to remember that this study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been shown that the impact of social media on teenagers’ mental health has increased along with the majority of other populations.

A 2020 study in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that teenagers reported increased mental health struggles online in correlation to negative spikes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article states how these “findings suggest that teens’ social media engagement and emotion expression reflect the pandemic evolution.”

There is overwhelming evidence of social media use and increased teenage mental health issues. But what have the potential effects of this correlation been?

The Elevated Impacts of Social Media on Teens

Several teenage mental health issues have been reported to have increased due to the social media boom. These issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Trouble sleeping or unhealthy sleep patterns
  • An increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Withdrawal from the outside world
  • Increased potential for self-harm
  • Suicidal ideations or suicide attempts

Many people may find it easy to cast aside social media use as harmless fun. After all, “Everyone does it, and not everyone has mental health issues.” However, as you can see, these effects are not to be taken lightly.

Luckily, there is light at the end of this technology tunnel. Social media use can be mitigated without being eliminated. Except in extreme cases, abstinence from social media is hardly the answer. Here at Roots Through Recovery, we have the resources to treat the effects of excessive social media use while teaching the life skills to find social media balance in the future.

How to Mitigate the Effects of Too Much Social Media

Just as no two people are alike, no one’s social media side-effects are alike. That is why Roots Through Recovery takes an individualized approach toward all of our clients.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Roots Through Recovery has various therapies and treatments to help teenagers recover from the mental health effects of too much social media use. One of the ways we may treat social media-induced depression and anxiety is through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can help get to the roots of why social media use is causing these particular mental health issues.

Meditation and Breathing Exercises

Another way we may tackle social media side effects is through a program of meditation and breathing exercises. These tools can help bring back serenity from the negative energy often absorbed through social media use. This line of treatment also tends to help with poor sleep cycles.

Roots Through Recovery Can Help

Steve Jobs was also known to say, “Time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” This is the exact type of trap excessive social media use has set for many teenagers. However, this trap doesn’t have to stick. Let Roots Through Recovery help you or a teenager you love to get free from today’s social media trap.

Social media use among teenagers is at an all-time high. Because of this record use, issues regarding teenagers’ mental health issues have also skyrocketed. Study after study shows the correlation between excessive social media use and teenage mental health issues. Social media use has led to increased occurrences of anxiety and depression, poor sleep patterns, substance use disorders (SUDs), and even self-harm and suicide. The dangers of excessive social media use to the teenage population is very real. Luckily, there are many ways of treating these problems. If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of too much social media use, Roots Through Recovery can help. For more information, contact us at (562) 473-0827.

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