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Communication in Social Networks

Adolescents’ use of social media networks has become incredibly prevalent in recent years, with scientists now beginning to gauge its impact and effects on youth. Proponents of its use argue that social media has benefitted adolescents by providing them access to a large, global community, allowing them to connect and express themselves. Social media can help young people to develop social and technical skills and promote self-expression. It can also be a source of fun, entertainment, and relaxation.

1 (a) Despite the benefits that social media networks can provide, research has shown that excessive use of social media by adolescents can lead to a wide range of adverse effects. Such effects can include increased depression and anxiety, lower self-esteem and body image issues, loneliness, difficulty sleeping, and even suicidal thoughts. Adolescents’ social media usage also affects their self-esteem and body image (Vannucci & Ohannessian 1469–1493). Constant comparison to others struggling with low confidence can lead to bad feelings. Customizing and posting pictures can lead to severe body image issues as teens are influenced by people they may not even know. Furthermore, this constant comparison creates a false sense of what is typical and recognizable.

The overuse of social media can also make them feel isolated and lonely, leading to an inability to socialize. Additionally, the creation of habits of being glued to a phone or laptop leads to sleep deprivation and sleep disturbance, leading to further issues and hindering the normal development of an adolescent. The effects can be devastating for some teens, leading to thoughts of suicide and an inability to cope with everyday life (Vidal et al., pp.235-253). Therefore, it is essential to control adolescents’ social media usage, educate them about the effects of too much usage on their mental and physical health, and introduce and focus on activities that can help offset the negative spiral of depression and anxiety.

(b) Excessive use of social media can lead to depression and strained conversations with peers, “Negative psychological effects of heavy use, including difficulty initiating conversations with peers, withdrawal from social activities, and an overall increase of depressive symptoms (Vannucci & Ohannessian 1469–1493) .”Changes in users’ body image have been connected to social media usage and subsequent depression. “Individuals with greater body image concerns were more likely to pursue social comparisons on social networking sites, leading to increased social media usage and subsequently higher depression symptoms” (Vannucci and Ohannessian). Feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and body image problems frequently result from spending much time on social media. according to research on the intended and unintended consequences of the punishing feedback loop that users attempt to escape from to gain acceptance and self-esteem.”Through changes in how we socialize, social media has created a new way of life and a new set of problems due to its addictive and constant monitoring nature. Social media presents a platform that makes users vulnerable to depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, and body image issues. These conditions can be life-threatening (Nesi 116-121). Users need to be more aware of the intense effect of social media on their mental health and need to take measures that prevent further damage.

B). Adolescents who need to constantly check and update their social media accounts become fixated on what their peers are doing, resulting in a feeling of inferiority and envy, leading to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Furthermore, FoMO may also cause adolescents to experience a distorted reality, leading to unrealistic expectations, social comparisons, and a more profound sense of isolation and loneliness (Bloemen & Coninck 1-6). Studies have also shown that FoMO is connected with sleep deprivation, as adolescents spend more time online, adversely affecting their sleep quality. Lastly, research now suggests that FoMO may contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents, creating additional risks to their mental health.

Adolescent use of social media networks has been increasingly linked to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body image issues, lack of sleep, and, even worse, suicidal thoughts. Studies have found that long-duration use of social media networks is correlated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness (Bloemen & Coninck 1-6). it is believed to be primarily due to the array of filters and editing options available to users, leading to a distorted sense of self-worth based on comparisons to highly edited images of others. Additionally, overuse of social media networks may lead to unhealthy sleeping habits, such as difficulty falling asleep and excessively checking social media accounts late at night, which are linked to decreased mental health. There is, therefore, a need to address the risks of excessive social media use (Steinsbekk et al. 106528). Mental health professionals now recommend interventions such as developing healthy sleeping habits, mindful attention, and awareness of digital media use and creating balanced behavioral, physical, and social self-care plans. Education on digital media literacy, fostering a positive body image, and self-care techniques can help adolescents stay engaged in the real world, self-regulate their online activities, and improve their overall mental health(Bloemen & Coninck 1-6).

C) Low self-esteem is an issue many people grapple with, and it can be exacerbated and even triggered by the use of social media. This is because people are exposed to comments, photos, and videos that can be hurtful (Nesi 116-121). This is especially true for adolescents because they do not have fully developed and mature emotional intelligence that can allow them to overcome demeaning comments or posts, especially about their appearance. This means that when adolescents receive discouraging comments or negative posts about their physical appearance, it leads to negative self-perception and self-esteem issues. They begin to internalize these negative comments and feel inadequate compared to their peers (Steinsbekk et al. 106528). A decrease in self-esteem can lead to depression and anxiety and negatively affect adolescents’ physical and mental health. The use of social media can hurt a teenager’s self-esteem. Social media exposes teenagers to messages that mock or criticize their looks, lifestyle, talents, or accomplishments. This can lead to a decrease in a person’s self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Social media use can make youth feel as if their lives are not good enough and less than perfect, leading to feelings of regret, inadequacy, and low self-esteem (Nesi 116-121). Constant visual indications of successful peers, such as photos, can signal youth that their lives do not measure up. Cyberbullying and the subsequent humiliation experienced by it can also lead to a decrease in self-confidence.

D) With the rise of social media, adolescents can find themselves spending more time online than interacting with people in person. As a result, this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Regular social media use can make it challenging to build and maintain real-life relationships and make it tempting to compare oneself to others online. This can often lead to insecurity and diminished self-esteem (Pop et al., 5064). Furthermore, adolescents may compare their lives to the often-idealized lives they see online, inducing feelings of loneliness due to a false perception of reality. Thus, spending time on social media can lead to loneliness and isolation, contributing to mental health issues like depression. The relationship between increased use of social media and increased levels of loneliness has been well documented in the literature, with research showing that constant use of media could lead to teens having difficulty engaging in meaningful conversations with family and friends (Bonsaksen et al. 1-6). This is because media consumption takes precedence over real-time social interactions, leading to a lack of understanding of genuine interactions with people, causing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

E) Social media use has dramatically increased in the last decade as it provides a platform to connect with peers, express opinions, and expand knowledge. Many popular social media applications, such as Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, are specifically designed to capture the young adult demographic due to their interactive features and visuals. However, the surge in social media use amongst the young population has been linked to an increase in various sleep disorders, such as insomnia among teenagers. Sleeping disorders are related to the amount of time spent online and the content consumed. Social media can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression due to the amount of comparison that often occurs between oneself and other users. This can disrupt sleep quality and length (van den Eijnden et al. 1346). When teenagers are exposed to certain types of blue light exposure from screens, melatonin hormones can be thrown off balance leading to delayed sleep cycles or difficulty sleeping. Not getting enough sleep or having quality sleep can lead to differences in behavior, cognition, and physical health. Studies have shown that teenagers who spend 4-7 hours per day on social media sites experience more disrupted sleeping patterns, poorer sleep quality, and shorter sleeping duration than those who spend less time on social media. It is also suggested that social media use can decrease physical activity, increase stress, and decrease overall activity levels. Social media use amongst teenagers can lead to insomnia and other sleeping disorders due to the content consumed, the amount of time spent on social media, and the blue light exposure from screens which can disrupt the melatonin hormones (Pirdehghan et al.). This lack of quality sleep can lead to sleep disorders, cognition and behavior problems, and physical health difficulties. Teenagers should be aware of the possible consequences of excessive social media use and watch how much time they spend on screens to encourage good sleep patterns and improved mental health.

F) A downward spiral and suicidal thoughts positively correlate with social media use. This can be attributed to the fact that social media use among adolescents can lead to several issues related to self-esteem, loneliness, and emotional intelligence. Social media can be a source of cyberbullying from peers or strangers, causing them to feel isolated and devalued (Vidal et al., pp.235-253). it can lead to feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and depression. Furthermore, comparing themselves to the success of their peers can also lead to feelings of inadequacy which can further exacerbate these feelings. Suppose such teenagers do not get the help of a trained mental health expert. In that case, these feelings of depression and inadequacy can lead to a downward spiral of events, ultimately culminating in suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it is essential to provide adequate help and support to adolescents struggling with the effects of their social media use (Vidal et al., pp.235-253). With the help and support of a trusted mental health expert, adolescents can develop healthy coping strategies and a better sense of self, resulting in a more positive outlook.


In conclusion, the frequent use of social media has a detrimental effect on adolescents’ mental health. Consequently, limiting exposure to social media and developing strategies to promote positive well-being in adolescents who use these media platforms is essential. Preventative measures should focus on assisting adolescents in understanding the impact of their interactions on social media, encouraging positive behavior and online communication, and educating them on the risks of developing mental health issues from using such media platforms.

Works Cited

Vannucci, Anna, Ohannessian, Christine. “Social Media Use Subgroups Differentially Predict

Psychological Well-Being During Early Adolescence.” J Youth Adolescence, 2019,

Nesi, Jacqueline. “The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health.” North Carolina Medical Journal, 2020.

Vidal, Carol, et al. “Social media use and depression in adolescents: a scoping review.” International Review of Psychiatry, vol. 32, no. 3, 2020, pp. 235–253.

Steinsbekk, Silje, et al. “The impact of social media use on appearance self-esteem from

childhood to adolescence–A 3-wave community study.” Computers in Human Behavior 114 (2021): 106528

Bloemen, Noor, and Coninck, David. “Social Media and Fear of Missing Out in Adolescents:

The Role of Family Characteristics.” Sage Journals, 2020

Bonsaksen, Tore, et al. “Loneliness and Its Association with Social Media Use During the

COVID-19 Outbreak.” Sage Journals, 2021.

Pirdehghan, Azar, et al. “Social Media Use and Sleep Disturbance among Adolescents: A Cross-

Sectional Study.” Iranian journal of psychiatry vol.16,2 (2021): 137-145. doi:10.18502/ijps.v16i2.5814

van den Eijnden, Regina J., et al. “Social Media Use and Adolescents’ Sleep: A Longitudinal

Study on the Protective Role of Parental Rules Regarding Internet Use before sleep.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 18, 3, 2021, p. 1346.


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