May 25, 2021
Effect of Social Media on your Teen's Self-Esteem
As a parent, you might be quite worried about your child. Who wouldn't be? When everything is becoming about social media. Social media has turned into addiction and obsession. The adolescence period is said to be the most sensitive age. Teenagers love the people around them. They tend to believe what others say rather than their parents. Therefore, digital parenting is essential in today's modern life.
In a survey, 90% of teenagers from the age group 13-17 have already used social media. Where 75% of teenagers have one active social media.51% of teenagers visits social media daily. In total, teenagers are online nearly nine hours a day.
Social Media and Self-Esteem
Social Media might make you believe that there is an existence of perfect life. But you know it well that there is no perfect life. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tiktok, and many more have given an impression-perfect life.
If you were from a different planet and tried to research more about humans through social media, you will evaluate that earth has a perfect life. A life full of parties, dancing, singing, playing, having fun, face full of smiles will make you in doubt.
Today's generation loves sharing their life moments. They tend to put all their effort. Having a perfect body, makeup, dress, food, and friends is impracticable until it is in social media.
Teenagers imitate others. From friends to celebrities, they want to be like them. They may even ask you to participate with them. For example, If they are a fan of Selena Gomez, they may ask you to buy a similar dress, makeup, and many more.
Similarly, your child might perceive things according to like, view, and comment on social media. They may be constantly thinking about how to increase their likes, comment, and views on social platforms.
Social Media has brought low self-esteem. Social media affects teenage girls more than boys. They tend to get sensitive to their body image and appearance.
Girls usually try to copy and imitate models and celebrities. They try to adopt dieting, plastic surgery, cosmetic enhancement, and many more. This is one of the causes of low self-esteem. If you believe you are not good enough and try to be like others, it harms your healthy development.
For example, I have a sister who is a crazy fan of celebrities. She has opened Instagram to follow her favourite celebrity. She believes her idol is perfect and has a perfect life. She even tries to imitate her lifestyle, dresses and wants to live her life.
As the standards have been created through social media. You cannot repeat the same dress which you have posted a picture of, who have to be skinny to look beautiful, you have to comment to look cool, who have to do sarcasm to be popular are all the standard put by social media.
Consequences of Low Esteem
The negative aspect of having low esteem causes:
Often social media causes cyberbullying. Let's see why how cyberbullying looks:
● Posting rumors and lies.
● Sharing private information without their permission.
● Using false identity to post harmful information about someone.
● Threatening others via messages or posts.
● Posting mean comments regarding appearance, color, religion, LSBT, and many more.
Teenagers feel jealous easily. Mostly they tend to get jealous of other people's lifestyles. They want to obtain everything others have. This makes them argue and fight with their parents. As a parent, you must understand the situation properly.
3. Low Confidence:
You are not teaching your teen in the right way if your child's self-esteem is low. Confidence is important as it helps to develop healthy development. Lack of confidence brings low self-esteem. They feel they are not like others.
4. Stress and Anxiety:
Thinking more often leads to stress. Teens may be unhappy with their life. They may develop too many exceptions by seeing others on social media. Stress gives mental issues like anxiety.
When you have too much stress and anxiety, it often causes depression. Yes, teenagers seem to develop depression. Some develop too much thinking and depression that which often leads to suicide.
6. Alcohol and Drugs:
Some may take the support of alcohol and drugs to reduce stress and depression. They try to feel a perfect world that is imperfect through the use of drugs and alcohol.
In worst cases, teens decide to end their life. There is research to support the fact that in a little silent way social media is contributing to the rising teen suicide rate. Most of these suicide is happening due to lack of self-esteem.
Helping Your Teen Develop their Self-Esteem
Self- Esteem brings lots of problems in academics and the overall development of your child. As a parent, you can regulate their activities in such a way that their self-esteem is developed higher.
1. Parental Control Software:
Parental Control Software helps to monitor and regulate your teen activities. It helps to block and filter unappropriated contents. This software removes and filters appropriate content for your teens. You can monitor their activities and see whether they are getting bullied or not.
You can also see what type of sites they are visiting. This will give you some idea about what your teen is thinking and their behavior.
Some of the parental software which will make you easier to monitor your children are:
● Net nanny
Parental software has a free version that only provides basic protection and security in android, iOS, and all your devices. But the full version gives you extra protection with additional charges.
Ok, let's know what features are available in parental software. So that it is easier for you to develop your teens self–esteem.
● Monitoring all social media activities.
● Set Screen limit.
● Blocking inappropriate content.
● Avoiding malware and viruses.
● Avoid hacking, phishing.
● Monitor your kid's location.
● Helps to backup data.
Parental Software has features for home and school. For example, Fenced.ai gives protection for parents, schools, and employees separately. Not only parents but the school can create a safe learning environment for their students.
2. Encourage and Motivate:
The best way to develop their self-esteem is to encourage them. Try to encourage and motivate them in small to big things. This brings a positive effect and will help them realize that they are not lacking in any aspect. Motivate them toward their dreams and try to be less strict with your teenagers.
3. Praise their Work:
Praising often leads to motivation and confidence. Your child might not get praise anywhere so it is your responsibility to praise them at home. Compliment them when they do good things even if it is small. This will make them happy and motivate them in the right direction.
4. Criticize carefully:
Your child might face much criticism online and in school. You have to be careful when you give criticism. Avoid harsh words and mean comments to them. Give them logical reasoning while criticizing.
5. Talk to them about their Online Activities:
Ask them to share their online experiences. Talk to them like a friend so that you can know about what they are doing online. As well it will help to provide suggestions to them.
6. Participate them in Training and Development Programs:
Your children might be good at something. You should explore more about their interests, likes, and hobbies. And try to give them extra training and programs so that they can expand their skills. This will help them to be focused and have fun. It will help them to build a skill.
7. Limit Screen time:
If you don't want to use parental software. You can manage your child's screen time. Give them a schedule and maintain it daily. Give them a maximum of 2-3 hours for using the Internet. This will help to reduce the dependency on social media and the internet.
8. Browse History:
Know what your child is doing online or on the web. Browse their history on the website to know what they are up to. Nowadays teenagers are techno-savvy and smarter where they clear history searches and use VPN to browse the internet.
So you must try to monitor your children frequently. If possible put their electronic devices in a shared room
An institute such as Child Mind Institute helps to transform and develop the children's lives who are struggling with mental health and disorder. They help to build confidence, remove negative aspects like mental disorders, anxiety, psychological effect, and many more through treatments.
The Child Development Institute states that "Parents more than anyone can make, build and develop their child self-esteem". Their words and activities affect child mentality and thinking. Whenever your child is growing try to be as careful as possible.
If you have criticism for them then try to avoid harsh and mean words. A word affects more than a bullet. Your child may take it in their heart. So, try to be calm and speak to motivate them. If you are too worried about them you can use parental control software to monitor their activities.
Self-esteem is important as they help in the overall growth of the body. When you have self-esteem you can stand in the crowd by yourself. Your children will not care if they are criticized by others.