Leigh Harris MS, LPC, NCC • Contact Leigh
On the Screenagers Movie site, there's an article regarding social media influence specifically as it relates to body image for teens and young adults and it's a good reminder for us as parents and therapists..."
"Almost half of teenage girls are unhappy with their bodies. Body dysmorphia and eating disorders in young people of all genders have been rising steadily in recent years. To think that TikTok is a standalone influence in this battle neglects to acknowledge the broader picture, so although I aim to shine the spotlight on TikTok, what is really concerning is society in general and what we are willing to trade for views, power, and money."
There are many good aspects to social media, but it can definitely increase anxiety and depression in teens and young adults. Developmentally, teens and young adults are wired to compare themselves to others and haven't yet developed the coping tools to deal with the pressures and insecurities that they are feeling and often it can result in harmful behavior.
While social media is a part of the world that our teens and young adults live in, we can help them by having a dialog about it, how the algorithms work, and to help them learn to become aware of when it is causing them to feel bad about themselves, as well as when it may be hurting others, and to care for themselves or others by logging off and engaging in more affirming activities, such as art, music, exercise, sports, yoga, cooking, creative pursuits, prayer, and meditation and other outlets.