Social media and the teenager

A competition to be humanly perfect. That’s what often seems to be the focus in the venue where many teenagers spend much of their free time—social media platforms, frequently those that involve picture-sharing that are accessible via smartphones and computers 24/7. On such sites, perfectionism—striving to attain material perfection in all aspects of life—can seem to be the dominant message and a strong influence on teen behavior. 

Social media certainly have positive uses, and some research shows that if they are used appropriately, they can be constructive for teens. But many teenagers, particularly girls, also find them stressful because of the pressure they feel to portray themselves and their lives as perfect. The Office for National Statistics in the UK points to a rise in unhappiness among teenage girls as probably attributable to the increase in social media use among girls in the past five years.

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