As a teenager there are many pressures to contend with. The social and academic pressures of school life, maybe the stress of leaving one school for another, fitting in, being accepted and acceptable, studying, keeping family happy with your progress, are all potentially stressful considerations.
Then, of course, there may be stresses at home, family concerns, problems with siblings and the personal issues that often accompany being a teenager; feeling different, uncertain about themselves, comparing themselves to others, fear of missing out.
Social media is a natural part of life for many people with statistics regularly being reported on its usage. Analysts say we check our mobile phones every 12 minutes and spend an average of 3 hours 15 minutes every day on the internet, mostly on sites owned by Google and Facebook.
Whilst it’s valuable to be connected to the bigger world outside there are also worrying aspects about the internet and especially around social media that cause concern regarding its influence on teenagers.
Social media can be a force for good or bad. Certainly chat rooms and forums can be a great place for someone who feels friendless and alone, with no one to talk to about how they’re feeling. Finding reassurance, answers to questions from people experiencing similar issues can stop a teenager feeling alienated, isolated and alone.
It can also help us tap into unexpected audiences, reach people we would never have been able to introduce ourselves to and, as a consequence, their friends. We have the potential with social media to speak to a vast audience, a community of like-minded people.