Teens growing up in the twenty-first century face a unique set of challenges and struggles as a result of social media. One of the most well-known developmental psychologists, Jean Piaget, asserts that during the preoperational stage of life, children live their lives with an imaginary audience. This theory explains why at some point all people feel like everyone cares about what they are doing at all times. With the high prevalence of social media today, there is reason to feel like there really is an audience watching at all times. According to Jefferson Health, when not spending time at school or sleeping, teens spend around nine hours a day on their phones. Though connecting with friends and family members sits alongside social media’s pros, the cons may outweigh any upsides.
There is an immense amount of pressure to be ‘perfect’ in all areas of life as a result of the online world. Teenagers are constantly comparing themselves to actors/actresses, artists, models, and other teens all over the world, leading to low self-esteem, self-doubt, poor body image, and fear of missing out. In an article from the New York Times, Ezrin Woo discusses how younger people are highly aware of how damaging platforms like Instagram can be. Woo conducted an interview where an 18-year-old claims that the app perpetuates negative-self image through algorithmically influenced explore pages. For example, a user may interact with more body-positive accounts, and still only be fed images of bikini models who are size 2. Profiles are polished, perfect, and not an accurate representation of what those people are really like anyways.
Instead of working through the hardships of adolescence, social media is used as a distraction from mental turmoil. A study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health revealed that people aged 14-24 feel an increase in depression from using Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, in a qualitative study conducted by Jordan Young of the University of Pennsylvania, Young found that adolescents using less social media were actually less lonely and less depressed.
Making friends takes a certain amount of risk-taking that is not necessarily apparent in an online setting. When people are not practicing face-to-face interactions, it can lead to more anxiety related to confrontation in adulthood. The Child Mind Institute suggests that children are missing out on countless social learning-experiences when their heads are downturned to their phones in public settings. The absence of body language and tone of voice creates a deficit in social skills that could probably be fixed with a reduction in screen time.
Though teens are the most susceptible to the negative effects of social media, adults are not impervious to mental health problems that can result from overuse of these platforms. Amy Summerville, PhD, says “the research necessarily says that everyone needs to put app blockers on their phone.” It is important that young people limit the time they spend online and go out into the world. Aside from the crucial practice of social skills and a lessened sense of ‘fear of missing out’, a reduction in screen time could make a world of difference for today’s youth.
I have so much to say about this wonderful place, but I’m sure my words will never do my experience justice. Southern Live Oak Wellness and it’s people not only helped me find myself again, but they saved my life.
Southern Live Oak Wellness saved my life. The therapists genuinely care about the clients and helping them get better. Working on yourself is not easy, but the therapists help guide you and make you be able to work through whatever may be going on.
I can easily say that Southern Live Oak wellness saved my life. I had hit rock bottom when I first got admitted and they helped me build myself up from nothing. I have learned how to cope with things I never thought I would be able to handle.
Going to SLOW has impacted my life in ways I never thought possible. I came for help with my mental state and came out with so much more; life skills, medical advice, mental health counseling and addiction treatment. SLOW is a whole life transformation program and I highly recommend it to anyone I know!
When I was a part of this program, I had the most personal growth I’ve had in my entire life. All of the tech staff were willing to talk to me whenever I felt like I needed someone to talk to and the group sessions gave me multiple perspectives I never would’ve thought of from people in similar situations to me.
This place has changed my life. For the first time in my life I felt heard and cared about. The clinical staff is amazing. The groups are well structured. You learn a lot of different skills to help you in life this is the best mental health facility to come to.