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January 16, 2023


There are many different reasons why people use social media. Some people use social media to stay connected with friends and family, to share photos and updates about their lives, and to discover and participate in communities with similar interests. Others use social media for entertainment, news, and information, or as a platform for creative expression or activism. Still others use social media for professional networking and career development, or to promote their business or brand. In general, people use social media for a variety of personal, social, and professional purposes.

What does general research say about the relationship between social media and mental wellness?

There is a growing body of research on the relationship between social media use and mental health, and the results have been mixed. On one hand, social media can provide a sense of connection and support, particularly for individuals who may feel isolated in their offline lives. It can also be a useful tool for finding and sharing information, and for staying in touch with friends and family.

ALL OF THIS SOUNDS WONDERFUL, RIGHT? Who doesn’t like to share the highlights of their life and have others recognize them? Who doesn’t want people to see them and reach out when they show signs of sadness?



For those with a healthy sense of self and acknowledgement of what social media really is and the role it should play in a real relationship as well as having boundaries in place, the impact of social media will be marginal at best.

On the other hand, excessive social media use has been linked to a number of negative mental health outcomes, including increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. This may be due to the fact that social media can foster a sense of comparison and FOMO (fear of missing out), as well as expose users to cyberbullying and other negative interactions.

FOR THOSE WITHOUT A HEALTHY SENSE OF SELF & ABILITY TO CONNECT, the consequences are far more dire and impactful to development as a human-being.

Social Media Activity Among Teens – Taking Pulse of the Community:

Social media is a popular activity among teenagers, with a recent study finding that around 95% of teenagers have used social media at some point. According to a recent study, the average time that teenagers spend on social media per day is around 2 hours and 25 minutes. However, this number can vary depending on the individual teenager and the specific social media platforms that they use. Some teenagers may spend significantly more or less time on social media, and certain platforms may be more popular among certain age groups or demographics.

The most popular social media platforms among teenagers include:

  1. Instagram: This photo-sharing platform is particularly popular among teenagers, with around 72% of teenagers using it.
  2. Snapchat: This messaging and multimedia platform is also popular among teenagers, with around 69% of teenagers using it.
  3. Facebook: While not as popular as it once was, Facebook is still used by around 51% of teenagers.
  4. YouTube: This video-sharing platform is used by around 85% of teenagers.
  5. TikTok: This platform has become popular among teenagers, with around 41% of teenagers using it.

How Social Media is Impacting Teen Development?

Social media has had a significant impact on the way teenagers communicate and interact with each other, as well as on their overall development. Here are some ways in which social media has impacted teen development:

  1. Communication: Social media has changed the way teenagers communicate with each other. It has provided a platform for them to connect with their peers and share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in real-time. However, this has also led to a decline in face-to-face communication and an increase in online communication, which can have negative impacts on social skills and relationships.
  2. Identity development: Social media allows teenagers to create and present a digital identity to the world. They can choose how they want to present themselves online and what they share with their friends and followers. This can impact their sense of self and how they perceive themselves and their relationships. Further, many teens have begun diagnosing themselves with various personality disorders based on symptoms displayed in a Tik Tok video created by someone who has no business giving diagnoses related input to the mental health field. We are seeing this increasingly in therapy. This breaks down barriers to teens seeking help, but also has led to teens believing circumstantial challenges in life are permanent ones and represent a personal deficiency. The personal deficiency has then become the core identity of the teen, which we again, are seeing right now in more significant numbers.
  3. Mental health: Social media has been linked to an increase in mental health issues among teenagers, such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. The constant comparison to others on social media and the pressure to present a perfect image can lead to negative emotions and thoughts.
  4. Cyberbullying: Social media has also made it easier for teenagers to bully and harass each other online. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for victims, including anxiety, depression, and even suicide.

Further, according to JAMA Pediatrics and the article, “Association of Habitual Checking Behaviors on Social Media With Longitudinal Functional Brain Development,” the following findings were determined based on extensive research among adolescents:

“The results of this cohort study suggest that social media checking behaviors in early adolescence may be associated with changes in the brain’s sensitivity to social rewards and punishments. Further research examining long-term associations between social media use, adolescent neural development, and psychological adjustment is needed to understand the effects of a ubiquitous influence on development for today’s adolescents.” Maza MT, Fox KA, Kwon S, et al. Association of Habitual Checking Behaviors on Social Media With Longitudinal Functional Brain Development

What can we do as parents & adults to incorporate social media into our lives (and lives of our children) in a healthy manner?

It is paramount for healthy identity formation for teenagers to balance their use of social media with other activities, such as school work, physical exercise, and socializing with friends and family in person.

Additionally, as a parent, there are a number of things you can do to help your child develop healthy social media habits:

  1. Set boundaries: Establish rules around the amount of time your child can spend on social media and the types of content they are allowed to access.
  2. Monitor your child’s activity: Keep an eye on your child’s social media activity, and be aware of the apps and platforms they are using.
  3. Educate your child about online safety: Teach your child about the importance of privacy, and how to protect their personal information online.
  4. Encourage balance: Encourage your child to balance their social media use with other activities, such as school work, physical exercise, and in-person socialization.
  5. Model healthy behavior: Set a good example for your child by using social media in a healthy and balanced way yourself.
  6. Talk to your child about their social media use: Discuss the potential risks and dangers of social media with your child, and encourage them to speak with you if they encounter any problems.

By following these strategies, you can help your child develop healthy and responsible social media habits that will serve them well as they grow and mature. If you would like more assistance, guidance or direction, please do not hesitate to reach out for help at

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