Negative effects of social media on teens’ mental health


Many teens struggle to keep social media use in check.

Every day, teens are surrounded by an influx of information on social media. Whether they are keeping track of their favorite influencers or even reading the daily news, social media can become a problem.

“Social media has a negative impact on teen mental health,” Melbourne psychologist Jonelle Ensign said. “Becoming reliant on social media harms us because we need human interaction.”

Social media triggers the release of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which causes teens to become addicted to these platforms. Not only this, but social media also causes lowered self-esteem and increased feelings of depression, according to the Child Mind Institute.

Sophomore Chandra Sree said she’s careful not to let social media interfere with her well-being.

“Personally, I don’t use social media a lot,” Sree said. “I try to set limits for myself because I know how bad it can get.”

Sophomore Amelia Bailly, on the other hand, finds herself struggling with the addictive elements of social media.

“When I’m doing my homework, it’s hard to not get sucked down a rabbit hole on social media and start to procrastinate my work,” Bailly said. “Since social media is a quick outlet to relieve boredom, I’ll find myself just wasting time scrolling through TikTok or Instagram when I should be productive and working.”

However, if students don’t learn to limit their social media use, it can become a serious problem. Sree has observed her peers struggle, noting that she has seen social media steal people’s happiness.

“I have friends that have been impacted badly because of social media affecting their mental health,” she said. “They cut all off all their friends and stopped talking to me.”

Bailly shared some good habits that can help prevent social media from becoming a problem.

“I’ve started to silence my notifications and have a time limit set on the apps that distract me the most,” Bailly said. “I have a schedule for my homework, so whenever I finish a few assignments, I’ll quickly check my phone for texts and respond to people while still staying focused on my homework.”

By Hana Saleh