Social networks join together countless people from all corners of the world. This means that even complete strangers can become acquaintances and even friends. Some networks like Facebook use a friendship connection model. Others like Twitter and Instagram allow people to have followers for their creative content.
This follower design allows easier interaction between people who may or may not know each other. However, it also comes with certain implications that plenty of teens are starting to experience more and more.
This is becoming very evident because of the behavioral changes that social networks have on them. Let’s go into more details to explain how complex social networks – as large as Instagram – affect teenagers’ self-esteem.
Following famous people tends to induce depression and disappointment
The most common issue that teens face over time when they’re using Instagram is a sense of disappointment that usually leads to depression. We all turn to our smart internet connected devices whenever we have a free moment to spare.
Some of us check emails and text while plenty of others connect to their social networks. Networks offer latest information, trends and creative content. It is not strange that people want to know what is happening as soon as it happens.
Studies have only recently started observing the effects of social networks on human behavior. The issue usually arises when peoplestart identifying with the people whom they are following. Looking at pictures of unattainable material possessions or even exotic places can build up emotions in a negative way.
Famous people are often regarded and viewed as being “idol” figures. Young people look up to them and often want to achieve similar or identical levels of success. While in some cases this can be a great thing for motivation – sometimes it can be just as bad.
Parents can unknowingly trigger the lack of self-confidence in their children
You see, parents mock that same famous individual that their child follows daily on Instagram. In a sense, this is obvious. Teens mention some of the topics during lunch and dinner times and expect their parent’s support. Naturally, parents expect that their children look up to them. And then, for example,their child comes and talks about Kardashians and how fabulous they are.This often leads to mocking and dismissal of the child’s activity. Sometimes it even leads to conflicts.
Children always expect support from their parents. Teenagers are especially sensitive to critique and arguments.
With no support and approval – teens start to close up and distance themselves from anyone who objects their opinions. Especially to those who do not see the world in their way. This pushes them deeper into their object of interest. They start to show signs of obsession.
This obsession on Instagram starts to show its ugly face over time. There are so many instances of aggressive behaviour exerted by followers on the person that they are following. This is because they start to identify with their role model. And that role model doesn’t exhibit the same moral behavior. This often breeds envy and anger in young teenagers.
Teens eventually realize that they do not have the same traits as their object of “worship”. The depressive truth starts to work its way subconsciously first. You see, the mind is the most powerful thing. It creates neural connections based on everything that we do. Whether it is real or not – it doesn’t matter to the mind. The teenager’s mind is very impressionable. It is also susceptible to the easier creation of fixed ideas that are usually not connected or related to the truth in any way.
Teens look at their favourite people’s Instagram profiles and they start to question their own popularity. Then the realisation of non-worthiness manifests. And after a while – depression silently creeps in. Parents usually do not notice this from the start. Constant communication with their children can help prevent this. Although, this is rarely the case due to complex behavioral patterns of teenagers in those years of their life. They are simply too dismissive and introvert.
Curiously, some teens start to show aggressive behavior. They start arguing and leaving negative comments on pages of people whom they are following. Although, in most cases, this is because of their financial situation.
They get used to following actions of wealthy individuals and start to obsess and desire that same type of lifestyle. Something that is inaccessible to them due to the fact that they are too young. But teenagers comprehend and observe the world with a different mindset. They think that anything is accessible to them. Even when it is not.
Self-confidence confronts reality
The most damaging part to teenager self-esteem comes when they receive negative feedback from their followers. It is important to point out that some people leave remarks because they intentionally want to inflict damage. Perhaps out of spite or even envy. Or it may be because of some hidden grudge.
It can even be because of a moment of anger that was caused by something entirely unrelated. Usually, these toxic individuals will get blocked.Note that this isn’t a permanent measure since there are multiple methods that enable people to view private Instagram accounts.
Teens read and absorb all markers that indicate their Instagram fame and popularity. They are especially sensitive to comments. And most of the damage to their self-confidence comes from negative feedback by their followers. Interestingly, some show signs of depression with a low number of likes on the content that they post. Especially, when they start comparing their page profiles with those of their schoolmates and more popular acquaintances.
We advise regular conversations with parents and friends as a means of easing these issues. The family will always have the greatest understanding. We suggest that parents increase their interest in teenagers who are behaving in an estranged way. This is the only way to spot self-confidence issues in time. For some of you teens who are reading this – we say do not bother with the opinion of strangers.
You can’t possibly comprehend their true motives and intent. Most of all, do not focus your attention on people who boast with their wealth. Usually, these individuals have nothing else to offer. Finally, we suggest that you spend more time IRL with your friends and families. After all, nothing compares to good old face to face live interaction.