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Social media is affecting teenage self-esteem

Barbara Beltran and Vanessa Bustamante

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Although recent studies have shown that excessive use of social media may be linked to an increase in teenage depression, not all Morton East studies seem to believe so.

According to American psychologist Jean Twenge’s research, teens who spend five or more hours per day on their electronic devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide; at two hours there is a slightly elevated risk, and three hours of screen time is where the risk becomes more pronounced to the point where said teenagers had at least one suicide risk factor. Nonetheless, developing depression from spending time on social media might seem like an extreme case for some. However, a more noticeable pattern within teens who regularly use social media is either a depletion or boost of self-confidence. After asking Morton East teens how social media has influenced their lives, mixed information and opinions were received.

“I use social media because it lets me know what’s going on in the outside world and to stay connected with friends. I think social media is  beneficial to teenagers because they are able to become more sociable and it’s easier for them to make new friends,” senior Areli Balbuena said.

However, this is just one perspective concerning the positive side of social media and its effects on teenage self-esteem.

“I’m usually more open on social media than I am in real life. However, appearance wise, yes [social media] depletes my self confidence, that’s because social media has built this altar called expectations where they praise qualities that they think are perfect on how they should look,” senior Pilar Sierra said.

Social media is capable of influencing teenage minds positively, but negatively as well; and most teens seem to recognize that it is capable of so much.

“I think social media boosts most people’s self confidence because of the likes and hearts and comments people get on their pictures and stuff. It could also be depleting if someone doesn’t get that kind of attention though,” sophomore Adriana Arzuaga said.


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Social media is affecting teenage self-esteem