“While notable shares [of teens] say they at times feel overwhelmed by the drama on social media and pressure to construct only positive images of themselves, they simultaneously credit these online platforms with several positive outcomes – including strengthening friendships, exposing them to different viewpoints and helping people their age support causes they care about,” according to a survey by Pew Research Center.
By age 12, 50 percent of young people in the United States use at least one social media platform. That means at least half of all youth are on social media and susceptible to both its positive and negative effects.
As children grow up and enter their teenage years, they are faced with unique situations – bullying, peer pressure, body image and more. These issues usually occur face-to-face, at school or during extracurricular activities; however, they can occur online through social media. Either way, these interactions can lead to increased feelings of depression and anxiety.
That’s why it’s important to be careful when using social media and focus on making it a positive and empowering environment. Here are three easy ways to use social media constructively:
These tips can help make social media a more positive experience that builds confidence, strengthens relationships and increases awareness. Young people can support each other when it’s needed most and understand when someone might need help – in person and online.
If you or someone you know is struggling with negativity from social media or elsewhere, remember that asking for help is okay. Mental Health First Aid can help you identify and understand your feelings and provide strategies on how to get the help you may need. Take a course today and #BeTheDifference.