The other night a parent shared with me that she hates social media because even though her daughter says it makes her feel bad about her body and sad, she is being left out of group activities with her peers, she still can’t live without it.  

My response was that love it or hate it, social media is around to stay. So, let’s talk about how your daughter can use it to empower herself. 

There are different platforms that different age groups prefer, but almost all of us use it in one form or another. And teens use social media more than any other group.  

Almost half of US teenagers aged 13-17 say they are online ‘almost constantly.’ according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The most popular social media platforms among this age group are YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram, with less than a third using Facebook.  

Affecting our Teens 

The constant use of social media can affect teens with their personal development socially and emotionally

Many studies found strong links between heavy social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm and potentially suicide. Social media portrays a false sense of reality and can create negative thoughts for teens about their bodies, friendships and intimate relationships. 

Teens can also use social media as a ‘weapon’ to make other teens feel left out by purposely posting a picture of a party that only a select group was invited to. There can even be an elevation to bullying by posting inappropriate pictures of others or commenting in a negative way on a picture.  

Many teens that have been diagnosed with an eating disorder say that social media played a role in their feelings toward their bodies. 

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The Associated Contributors

The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.