Everyone is on social media these days. The number is quite staggering among teenagers and young adults. For most of them, their life revolves around posts that they make on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Many of them engage in activities simply in order to publish their actions online through the use of photos and videos! It’s as if they are living their life as a page straight out of a social media profile. This kind of lifestyle can have a very negative effect on the psyche of these young adults and teens.
Psychologists nowadays often get harried calls from parents and guardians about their children suffering from anxiety and low self-esteem because of their involvement on social media. How does that work? These teenagers find beautiful pictures of vacations and dining-outs of their peers and classmates on social media pages. It is obvious that some of the students in a class will have well-heeled parents who can take them off to exotic vacations and to five-star hotels for dinner. When they post these pictures of an elegant lifestyle online, the not-so-well-off children feel deprived.
How Social Media is Impacting Children?
There are several instances of such children coaxing and pushing their parents to spend more during vacations or when they eat out at restaurants. Their purpose is simple: they want to talk and share these experiences online! It’s as if the sharing of such photos and videos is more important to them than the feeling of actually experiencing them. The likes and shares on these pictures and videos keep their self-esteem boosted. In the absence of such attention, they feel low and depressed. They also feel bouts of anxiety about what people will think about their latest photos and posts.
There is no single way to get a teenager or young adult out of this virtual vortex. Psychological counselling in such cases is a must, before the concerned person takes any drastic step out of these feelings of anxiety and poor self-worth. A professional psychologist will instill a feeling of confidence in the teenager, assuring them that their worth cannot be measured through social media posts. It requires more than just random comments by faceless netizens to affect a person emotionally. Sustained therapy and time away from social networks will slowly begin to bring back the person’s sense of actually valuing life for what it is.