Social Media and Your Kid’s Self Esteem
Educators have informed us for years on how vital early childhood is for brain development. Professionals stress the importance of educational activities and limiting screen time for ideal brain enhancement. Society has retooled preschool programs, children’s television, and offered early intervention for potential delays.
Children, however, go through another rapid period of brain growth during adolescence, similar to the toddler years. Little is being done to maximize these crucial learning years for adolescents and parents need to be aware of what their teenager’s brain is absorbing.
How Social Media Affects Your Child's Self-Esteem
Studies show that an adolescent’s self-esteem suffers when they scroll through friends’ feeds and view perfected images of ideal personalities and traits. There appears to be a correlation between “passive” users, people browsing without updating or commenting, and low self-esteem. It appears teens who primarily use social media to update their own profiles don’t suffer the same consequences.
People are beginning to question the safety of social media sites like Facebook. Modern teenagers are using these sites to conduct most of their communication. Texting, posting, and Snapchatting allow children to look at a device, instead of engaging in face-to-face contact with their friends.
Developing friendships is important for a child’s social growth, but researchers wonder if social media is impeding communication skills. Teens are missing opportunities to witness how words and actions affect others. Texting keeps people at a safe distance.
Being accepted by a child’s peer group is important for a teenager. Children carefully craft profiles, portraying an image they want others to view. Today’s adolescents are getting actual "polling data” on appearances or interests by “likes.” It’s easy to understand why children work feverishly on maintaining their image on social media. These behaviors on social media lead to anxiety and low self-esteem.
According to Dr. Donna Wick, a clinical and developmental psychologist, children never get a break from the social media and that produces anxiety. She feels everybody needs “a respite from the demands of intimacy and connection; time alone to regroup, replenish and just chill out.”
What Can Parents Do About Kids, Self-Esteem and Social Media?
Parents can monitor a child’s media usage and encourage down time from devices. Create “no phone zones” at home during family dinners and forbid phones in bedrooms. Parents should also teach children that everything is not always as it appears on social media.
The important thing for parents to remember is that a teenager’s brain is still developing. This development period is an important time for imprinting social intelligence and knowledge. Society should be aware of how social media affects the teenage mind and work together to make this period in life as enriching as possible.
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Author, G. (2014, August 27). Social Media and Your Kid’s Self Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2014/08/social-media-kids-self-esteem-whats-happening-how-help
Author: Guest Author
Great article Amy. We have just gone through a period of having problems with our 12yo daughter and the internet. Our fault to start with - unrestricted access to internet with laptop and phone. We quickly realised we had made a big mistake but changing things, restricting things became a really big issue. Its much harder to take something away than to never give it in the first place. We have now sorted things out and installed NetNanny which controls the sites she can visit and also how much time per day she can have online. We also changed the rules to she can only be in the living room or dining room when she is using her computer instead of hibernating in her bedroom. A few weeks down the track and things have settled back to a reasonably normal pattern.
The biggest takeaway from this is that to our surprise she is actually much happier in herself with less internet time. She will never admit it but to her mum and I it is super clear.
Agree with your article 100%