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The relationship between social media and teenage girls causes a lot of concern for many parents and educators. What’s going on?
Teen girls often check their phones before showering, brushing their teeth, and eating breakfast. They may look at what their friends have posted on Instagram or upload videos to TikTok on the way to school. They also reply to late-night texts in a group conversation with their best buddies. These may seem like little things. But social media platforms affect many teen girls’ mental and emotional health. Researchers looked at the information from more than 15,000 girls.
They found that frequent use of social media hurts girls’ mental health more than boys’.
What impact does social media have on girls? Social media has pros and cons, just like any other type of technology. The effects of social media on girls are both positive and negative. For example, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can help LGBTQ+ teens feel less alone. But the impacts of social media on girls can also be very bad for their mental health.
Social media is especially linked to girls’ stress.
Teens also risk cyberbullying, body image concerns, and computer addiction by overusing apps. It also reduces healthful, real-world activities.
Most parents think they know what their daughters post on social media. But, according to Pew Study, 70% of girls hide their online consumption from their parents. Social media can harm girls more than boys. But at different ages, both could be less happy with their lives if they use social media excessively.
When girls age 11–13 and boys age 14–15 use social media, it makes them less happy overall.
Adults, corporations, and educators need to prioritize youth mental health and find innovative ways to protect our girls when it comes to their excessive social media use.
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Photo credit: Nylos, Unsplash