Adolescence is a time of vulnerable susceptibility,Social Media is defined as “the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community – based input, interaction, content sharing, and collaborations” and can be accessed from almost anywhere at anytime. Smartphones have become the primary platform of mobile internet use for adolescents. In a 2015 Pew Research Center Study, 75% of all teens have smartphones and out of those 75%, 92% go online at least daily, including 24% of them that state that they are online “almost constantly.” The top three social network sites for teens are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, where they are bombarded with images that are not quite always reality. Adolescents today live in a generation of more hyperconnectivity, ironically, more adolescents than ever complain about severe loneliness. Through likes and follows, the user’s social status becomes incredibly apparent to them, and is put on display for the whole world to see.
This puts emphasis on only the good aspects of lives being highlighted. Everyone has problems but it is rare for users to call emphasis to them through social media. This can cause a drastic sense of hopelessness, as if they are the only one going through a rough time.
The quick response capability is also a factor. If other users on social media do not respond right away, an emotion of disappointment can occur. Especially if users send a dm and are left on “read.” It is not an inconspicuous act to ignore someone on social media. “More than 2 million adolescents between the ages of 12 -1 7 experience depression that impairs their daily functions””30% of girls and 20% of boys, totaling around 6.
3 million adolescents have had an anxiety disorder”While examining hashtags kids use to express self harm, like the hashtag #selfharmmm, researchers at the Seattle Children’s Hospital found 1.7 million search results in 2014 and 2.4 million in 2015. This number steadily increases each year.