Social media shatters self-confidence of teens


Kathleen Ortiz

Studies have shown social media has had a detrimental affect on teenagers’ self-esteem.

Rhian Davis, Staff Writer

Recent generations have all grown up under the influence of technology and social media. While some may argue that this has been beneficial for us, I would say it has been quite the opposite. The presence of social media, especially starting from a young age, can be extremely detrimental. 

As a young woman, I can say that social media has definitely harmed the way I perceive myself and others. I have had an account on Instagram since 2015 – since I was 10 years old. It took me a long time to convince my parents to let me get an account and looking back, I probably should have waited a few more years. Having social media was fun at first. It was casual and nobody cared what anyone else posted. Over the years, that has changed drastically. 

Today, social media is a competition. How many likes can you get? How many followers do you have,? How many shares do your posts get? So many young people today live in a constant state of anxiety caused by these questions. If you don’t get enough likes does that mean you aren’t pretty? You aren’t popular? You aren’t good enough? If someone doesn’t even like your Instagram selfie, how are you supposed to like yourself? We thrive off of validation and when those needs aren’t met, anxiety creeps in and the worst thoughts enter our minds. 

Personally, Instagram and other social media platforms have shattered my way of thinking. Instead of feeling confident and secure in who I am, I feel anxious all the time. Not a minute goes by where I am not thinking of how other people are perceiving me. I’m even consumed by this fear when I’m around the people that love me most. “Do I look okay? Do I seem happy enough? Do they like me?” 

Logging onto my socials every morning and immediately being faced with multiple pictures of people I believe to be “prettier” than I am has really taken a toll on my mental health. The easy solution would be to just delete my accounts, but no matter how hard I think about it, I can’t bring myself to do it. Social media is one of the only ways I can keep up with some people. I have a few really close friends that I met online and without social media, I wouldn’t have those great relationships. 

I believe this is a common problem among teens. We realize social media is harmful but we refuse to delete our accounts because we have a fear of being left out. As a generation, we have convinced ourselves that without social media, we would have no lasting connections. 

These days, everything happens over social media. Without a constant presence on these platforms, it’s hard to keep up with current trends and events. This can make it hard to connect with people in social situations. 

However hard it may seem, it’s not impossible. One of my friends recently deleted all social media platforms because they felt as if the platforms were consuming too much time and energy. Since deleting, they have felt happier with themselves and with the world around them. Even though it may be a scary change, it can be a change that benefits you in the long run. 

In the new year, I hope to spend less time on social media and more time focusing on the things that make me happy. If you’ve ever felt like social media is bringing you down, I challenge you to do the same. Put yourself first this year.