3 Ways Social Media Affects Self Esteem in Teen Girls


There have been many studies linking excessive social media use to a decline in teen self esteem, demonstrating teen girls as particularly vulnerable. One study correlates depression symptoms with excessive social media use in teen girls. If we are to understand why social media affects self esteem in teenagers, there are three important impacts that you should know.

#1 Hiding Imperfection

Social media’s impact on self esteem has a lot to do with the fact that most “popular” accounts show an unrealistic picture of life. The effects of social media on self esteem can create feelings of inadequacy, being behind in life and setting unrealistic expectations for teen girls’ social lives and body image.

While social media can be a great way to build online connections and find inspiration, unfortunately it has become the measuring stick from which many teen girls are measuring their lives and overall self worth. Increased shame around not “being perfect” can lead to social isolation and other mental health concerns.

#2 Lack of Real World Connection

When we don’t have face to face connection with others, our mental health suffers. These days, many teens are spending so much time on their social media apps that it’s become their main source of social connection. Teen girls in particular, rely on their peers to provide a sense of belonging and support as they develop their sense of identity. Without regular exposure to real peers living real teenage lives, self perceptions and the world around them can become skewed, oftentimes for the worst.

#3 Self Worth as External Validation

It’s already difficult to help teen girls recognize their innate worth. Add social media in the mix and a teen girl’s beliefs about her innate value can become focused on material things and appearance. In the race to get as many likes and comments as possible, teen girls are at risk of losing themselves.

When immersed in a supportive community of sisterhood and mentors, teen girls can learn how to appropriately manage their social media usage and not let it define their self image.

If you have a teen struggling with social media addiction, we’re a therapeutic boarding school for girls that offers comprehensive support for teen girls struggling with social media addiction. Give us a call today at 1-877-788-8422

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