It seems that nowadays everyone is on social media in one form or another. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and countless blogs are only a small sampling of the social media outlets available to anyone who wants to share their thoughts and experiences. I personally subscribe to five social media websites and they keep me connected to my friends and family, help me learn new things, and share my ideas. But recently, I have heard about potential problems linked to social media usage, and I was curious to see what social media is being used for by my peers.
Did you know?
These findings can help shed some light on the issues of teen mental health and cyber-bullying. Looking over all this research leads me to question what social media is doing to teen confidence.
On the positive side, it increases our confidence by:
Social media can negatively impact our confidence by:
My online experiences have generated a mixed bag of positive and negative emotions. I have learned amazing things and made new friends, but I have also experienced negative feelings and thoughts, and seen social media hurt those around me. In an effort to balance things out I’ve collected tips that I challenge myself to keep:
Take a tech break
Go one day a month without going online. Surprisingly, this is harder than you may think, but if you can manage it the payoff is huge! You create distance from the online world and can check in with your own feelings and thoughts. Being in touch with yourself encourages you to see perspective in situations. Perspective grows from allowing for time to think things through.
Think before you post
Before you hit send, post, or pin, take a second to think: Will posting this hurt someone else? Is this something that could come back to haunt me? Am I pinning this because I want to or was I dared to do it?
When I get caught up in the moment and want to post something, this is my shortcut to perspective:
If I ever answer no, I stop myself, no matter how funny my post is, and I delete it.
Social media can be a wonderful tool, opening up worlds of information and inspiration, but all the same it must be treated with caution and care. If used irresponsibly and thoughtlessly, reputations can be destroyed, feelings lastingly hurt, private information made public with disastrous results, and we can actually alienate ourselves from the people we had sought to connect with.
If you have concerns about your or your teenager’s social media activities, talking things through with a counsellor can help. Explore some of the options available to you at workhealthlife.com. It’s easier than ever to access EFAP at your convenience, day or night, at home or away.