Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, connect, and interact with others. While it has many benefits, it has also been associated with a rise in anxiety, particularly among teenagers. In this article, we will explore the connection between social media use and teen anxiety, including the risks and potential effects, and provide tips for promoting healthy social media habits.


According to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, 45% of teens say they use social media almost constantly, with 70% reporting using it daily. Additionally, a survey by the American Psychological Association found that 45% of teenagers reported feeling stressed by social media, and 43% reported that social media makes them feel more self-conscious about their appearance.

Experts' Opinion

Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, notes that "we're seeing a generational increase in anxiety and depression, and social media use may be contributing to that." She recommends that parents and caregivers monitor their teenagers' social media use and encourage them to engage in other activities, such as exercise and face-to-face interactions with friends.

The Connection Between Social Media Use and Anxiety

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Social media can create a sense of FOMO, where individuals feel anxious or stressed about missing out on events or experiences that others are sharing on social media. This can lead to an obsession with checking social media and staying connected, which can contribute to anxiety.

Exposure to Negative News: Social media can also expose individuals to negative news and current events, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress.

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is a common problem on social media, and it can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Social Comparison: Social media can create a culture of comparison, where individuals compare themselves to others and feel pressure to present a perfect image online. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which can contribute to anxiety.

Tips for Promoting Healthy Social Media Habits

Encourage Limiting Screen Time: Encourage teenagers to limit their screen time, particularly on social media. This can help reduce exposure to negative news and reduce the pressure to constantly stay connected.

Promote Mindfulness: Encourage teenagers to practice mindfulness, such as meditation or deep breathing, to help reduce anxiety and stress.

Model Healthy Social Media Habits: Parents and caregivers can model healthy social media habits by limiting their own screen time and engaging in other activities, such as exercise or face-to-face interactions with friends.

Monitor Social Media Use: Parents and caregivers should monitor their teenagers' social media use, particularly for signs of cyberbullying or other negative experiences.

Promote Positive Self-Talk: Encourage teenagers to focus on their strengths and abilities, rather than comparing themselves to others online. Promote positive self-talk and help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth.

Seek Professional Help: If a teenager is struggling with anxiety related to social media use, it may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.


Social media use has become an integral part of modern-day life, particularly for teenagers. However, it has also been associated with an increase in anxiety, with many teens reporting feeling stressed or anxious about social media use. By promoting healthy social media habits, such as limiting screen time, practicing mindfulness, monitoring social media use, promoting positive self-talk, and seeking professional help when necessary, we can help teenagers develop a healthier relationship with social media and reduce the risk of anxiety and other negative effects.

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