March 13, 2016

Social Media and Anxiety in Teens

I gave a presentation on social media and how it contributes to anxiety in teens at the German School of Washington D.C. last week.  Teen use of social media is a rapidly growing for many reasons, particularly noted for how easy and quickly messages can be sent and received.  As shown in my infographic, which was created for the presentation, teens are very focused on their image and how they appear to their peers.  Teen self-esteem is very fragile as they are working on creating their own identity, while trying to separate from their parents.  Since much of that identity comes from external validation, which is used by the teen to determine how well they are accepted and approved of, social media has a very great level of power as a tool to support teen self-image.  Since social media sites record "likes", numbers of friends, and comments, teens are able to get concrete data to reinforce their efforts at being a worth and valued person.  However, with so much effort put into getting validation and support from peers, teens can be susceptible to becoming reliant on using social media to stay connected, involved, and convinced of their positive self-worth.  Teen identity then has the potential to become a struggle who they should be to appeal to peers versus who they want to be.  This struggle can become a great source of anxiety and can contribute to depression as teens attempt to appeal to peers and either meet with success or failure depending on how others respond.  I hope you enjoy my infographic and I welcome any questions and/or comments.  Thank you!


  1. People with social anxiety disorder are so afraid of that they will make mistakes, look bad, and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. This fear can be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations.

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