In 2005, social media started as an infant in our lives. Ever since, social media and technology has brought a lot of convenience and connectivity in our lives. It gives us quick access to information, research and anything we want to know. It has brought us so much convenance that we can even pay all our bills online, transfer money and shop online at the comfort of our homes. Social media has helped us to stay connected with friends and families from all over the world.
While we are supposed to feel more connected with ourselves and each other, over the years, it has made us more disconnected with ourselves and the world. In this article, we will be looking at how excessive time spent on social media has impacted our self-confidence and self-love. Social media is not the problem itself; it is the way people use it to take over actual communication and physical socialising. “Friends” on social media might not even be friends but strangers. Social media portrays a warped version of reality that can have negative impact on our self-confidence and self-esteem. Most of the time, when scrolling through social media, you may find yourself comparing your life, your body and your clothes to unrealistic standards that are portrayed by others, and this can have an impact on your self-confidence. These unrealistic standards are usually portrayed by models, actresses/actors, influencers and so on.
However, these days, it is set much closer to home; classmates, friends and family members. Some teenagers struggle to keep up with this glamorous life or pretend to have this glamorous life just to feel that they fit in or to feel validated by people that they do not even know. With social media, cyberbullying has also become more common, as people are given the space and “privacy” behind the screen to say anything they want without much thought to it. Adding on, people receiving these harsh words take them seriously, as they take social media as real life. Teens who created idealised online personas may feel frustrated and depressed at the missing space between who they pretend to be online and who they truly are.
It is really hard for us to always be there for our teenagers to monitor what they watch, read or do online. How we can help as parents and caregivers is to build a safe and reasonable relationship with social media. It is not just confiscating their phones or having one serious conversation. Parents and caregivers need to be able to model healthy behaviours and allow their kids to get a dose of reality. They need to learn to trust people and not just pictures. Take social holidays, not just your child, but everyone in the family. It can be hard for parents to do it as well, but in order to help our children, we have to do what is necessary.
Social media can be good or bad. However, if you’re worried that social media is taking a toll on your child, do seek help with a therapist.