Social media comes with positives and negatives

Social media is a big part of teenagers’ lives today. Just like every other thing, this one comes with both positives and negatives.

Confidence is an important quality to have, and in some ways using Instagram or Tik Tok could potentially help build that. Normally, when people post fun pictures or exciting videos, they receive positive feedback and comments from others. Because of this, their self-esteem increases, which is a great feeling.

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However, social media can also damage teens’ confidence and self-image. Oftentimes the pictures that are posted have been edited and filtered to hide the flaws. Yet many teens who come across these posts immediately think that they need the same feature just because it looked good on someone else. Child Mind Institute backs this up by pointing out that teens who struggle with self-doubt look into their friends’ images and see what they feel they are lacking. This comparison to others can damage teens’ self-esteem.

Back to the plus side, social media can help document social gatherings, which are big aspects of many teens’ lives. After they find the perfect shot, teens can edit the pictures with fun filters to make the memories from the night seem even more exciting. Finally, they are posted to the world, showing all of the fun times and awesome memories that were made. To some, doing this brings their spirits up as well as gives them memories to look back on when they grow older. These posts also allow distant friends and family members to catch up on the fun things that are happening in the lives of the people they care about.

On the flip side, there often happens to be someone left out of those exciting plans, even if it was an accident.  Typically those left out begin to feel like they aren’t enough or don’t matter to those “friends” of theirs. The fear of missing out becomes a factor all because of one post on Instagram. Psychology Today said that the fear of missing out is commonly felt by teens no matter how they found out about the activity they missed out on.

 A third aspect of social media is being able to explore other interests that may be tough for some to find elsewhere. Seeing what other people do is a great way to explore new options. Social media allows teens to access those options and figure out what they really do enjoy by seeing examples of those who surround them. 

But do teens actually go out and take advantage of those new opportunities they are viewing? states that using social media can influence the brain in harmful ways, such as addiction to scrolling through posts, images and videos that interest them. This leads many teens to stay home on their phones rather than going out and doing those new activities. 

Figuring out the balance between the time spent on social media and finding opportunities in real life is a must. Checking social media accounts maybe two or three times a day is enough to know what’s going on in other people’s lives without getting too distracted.

While each person has to decide for themselves if it’s worth the effort, for me, the positives with social media don’t outweigh the negatives.