10 Ways Social Media is Harming Students, Teenagers, Youth

The world quickly shifted to virtual communication as social media platforms revolutionized the means of communication in just a few years. Like every other thing in the world, social media also comes with its own merits and drawbacks. Such as the negative effects of social media on students.

Now that we have stepped foot in the digital age, computers, mobiles, and specifically the Internet have become an integral part of our lives. To be honest, the Internet makes the world go round.

From communicating with your loved ones to getting job offers and important news updates, social media connects us in numerous ways.

Reportedly, as Gen-Z are the dominant users of all the social media platforms, they are the ones that are getting affected the most. It is high time we identify the ways social media is harming students, teenagers, and youth.

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The Negative Effects of Social Media

We can’t deny that social media comes with its own set of perils. As teenagers and young adults are the ones getting most affected, we should identify the problems as soon as possible and take necessary actions.

Here are the 10 ways social media is harming students, teenagers, and youth.

1. Facebook Depression

Yes, it is a real thing. Since the last few years, many psychologists have used this term in their works. Facebook is an inclusive space for all; evidently, there are all sorts of people on your friend list.

When students or teenagers are made to feel inferior to their Facebook friends and followers,  they often fall prey to depression, referred to as Facebook depression.

Social media platforms often indirectly cater to the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and the constant need for validation. The urge to fit in, stand out, or be accepted by your Facebook (or Instagram) friends and followers drives teenagers towards emotional distress.

How to Deal with It?

  • Consult a psychologist.
  • Don’t be judgmental, and be supportive of your kids.
  • Tell them that social media is not real life.
  • Ask them to restrict their internet usage.
  • If needed, impose rules for using phones at home.

2. Anxiety

Nowadays, anxiety is a common problem for almost every individual. In the virtual world, young people, especially teenagers, are more interested in knowing what others are doing in their life rather than focusing on their own.

According to reports and surveys, those who spend more time on social media are more likely to get diagnosed with severe anxiety and sometimes panic attacks. To be precise, the lack of self-care causes anxiety and depression in volatile young minds.

How to Deal with It?

  • Building awareness about the ill-effects of social media use
  • Encourage teenagers to build real-life connections with friends.
  • Ask them to read books instead of scrolling their phones.
  • Teach your kids meditation and mindfulness.

3. Cyberbullying

According to the dictionary, cyberbullying is bullying over social media apps, often done anonymously for personal or collective vengeance. Evidently, cyberbullying is the most harmful and dangerous among all the negative effects of social media.

Victims of cyber-bullying often end up with psychological problems/disorders like isolation, depression, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, stress, and some even become suicidal.

Many countries have come up with laws regarding cyber-bullying. However, the lack of proper monitoring of social media platforms is making this worse day by day.

How to Deal with It?

  • Spreading awareness among the students, teenagers, and youth.
  • Regular monitoring over various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
  • Communicate with your kids on this issue.
  • Be supportive to your kids, and don’t pass judgements.
  • Empower the teens in your house by explaining the laws regarding the same.

4. Sleep Deprivation

Do you wonder why everybody in your known circle is sleep deprived these days? You can blame social media for all the bedtime distractions and poor sleep.

Studies have found out that excessive use of social media is one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation among young adults.

Prolonged use of social media keeps you agitated. Additionally, the fear of missing out creeps in and teenagers can’t help but scroll through their smartphones to get the latest updates.

Unfortunately, a healthy sleep cycle and social media don’t go hand in hand. Teenagers usually stay active on social media platforms for longer durations if not asked to stop. And if they continue doing so, especially during sleeping time, then there is a high possibility of their sleep being disrupted.

How to Deal with It?

  • Always remember that the key is communication.
  • Teach your kids about the harmful effects of sleep deprivation.
  • Help them monitor and cut down their screen-time.
  • Enact a strict rule of not using phones after dinner (it includes the adults too).
  • If needed, consult a therapist.

5. Lower Self-Esteem

Most teenagers these days compare their lives with the ones shown on social media platforms. They want to look slim, become rich, and stay on trend all the time.

These false expectations from life often make teenagers hate their bodies and feel economically inferior. They blindly try to imitate these celebrities and brands.

To be honest, many influencers and so-called lifestyle brands target young adults, especially teenagers and use their insecurity to earn money.

A survey conducted among students and young adults has shown that excessive social media made them feel bad about their bodies and attire. Also, it gave them false ‘picture-perfect’ ideas of life, resulting in low self-esteem, isolation, and anxiety.

How to Deal with It?

  • Introduce your kids to Self-help books.
  • Teach them about body positivity and how to feel comfortable in their own skin.
  • Book an appointment with a therapist.
  • Try to boost their self-esteem.

6. False Expectations

What if I told you that Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Snapchat are the real reason behind your kid’s impractical and false expectations about life? Yes, it is true.

Social media has brought showbiz and stardom to your doorstep. When teenagers are exposed to these contents, naturally, they create a false sense of expectations from life. And when they face reality, youths easily get frustrated matching up their lives with their role models.

This situation can make a teen’s life worse by hurting their ego and self-esteem and making them feel inferior. Reportedly, it can cause self-harm tendencies and even anger issues.

How to Deal with It?

  • Teach them life lessons about being humble.
  • Spend more time with the young adults in your house.
  • Encourage them to take up new hobbies, such as gardening, reading, or hiking.

7. Poor Concentration

This is probably the most accepted adverse effect of social networking sites. Be it a child or a fully grown adult, excess exposure to social media platforms results in poor concentration.

Teenagers are at more risk, as they have a habit of scrolling through their phones as a habit. Different tasks, such as classwork or homework, require more concentration to deal with something important.

Exposure to social media platforms is affecting their ability to concentrate on their studies, daily chores, or even themselves. Research shows constant notifications reduce learning and performance abilities, resulting in ADHD.

Attention disorder is the major cause of poor academic performance or lack of motivation for studying.

How to Deal with It?

  • Tell your kids to grow a habit of reading.
  • Restrict phone time to reduce the impact of social media.
  • In the case of ADHD, consult a psychiatrist.

8. Deterioration of Health

You may have noticed your kids spend most of their weekend sitting in their room scrolling through their phones. They don’t even go out to play outdoors or even hang out with their friends.

Well, you can blame it on social media addiction. Social media is addictive, so teenagers tend to spend their free time scrolling their phones. They don’t exercise or indulge in any other physical activities, resulting in Obesity and premature Type-2 Diabetes.

Also, it can lead to heart diseases, depression, loss of appetite, and other mental disorders.

How to Deal with It?

  • Schedule outdoor games or activities to engage your kid.
  • Encourage them to take up any sports activity.
  • Take them for hiking or make them do household chores.

9. Self-Harm and Suicide

Social media is not always about bright pictures and youthful reels, but it is a dark place too. And most of the time, young people fall prey to these perils.

Teenagers usually think less about themselves, seeing people enjoy their lives in all sorts of ways. Eventually, they get frustrated, and it affects their self-esteem, and they start harming themselves.

In the worst-case scenario, social media games and invitations can lead to suicide also. Many teenagers and young adults played depressing suicidal games and ultimately committed suicide in the recent past.

How to Deal with It?

  • If you sense anything uncanny, have a friendly talk with your kids.
  • Restrict their social media usage.
  • Encourage them to go outside and meet their friends.

10. Internet Addiction

Unchecked social media usage among students can make them addicted to the Internet. The more time teenagers waste on social media networks, the more they tend to get exposed to new things they want to explore.

This habit eventually leads to addiction that can badly affect your kid’s mental health, school performance, and even personal growth.

How to Deal with It?
  • Try to identify the symptoms.
  • Consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.
  • Try a social media detox.


Social media is an irreplaceable thing in all our lives. From connecting with people to finding jobs, we simply can’t deny its importance. However, its perils in society cannot be justified.

These negative impacts of socials can be very harmful to your adolescent children’s health and mental well-being if not identified on time and handled wisely.

As we can’t totally omit social media from our lives, we should regulate our social media usage and offer a better life to students, teenagers, and youth.

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