CTRL Care Behavioral Health

What Percentage of Teens Use Social Media?

How many teens use social media? Short answer: the majority. 

In today’s digital age, the use of social media has become commonplace among both teens and adults. With several social media apps to use, from Instagram to Snapchat, TikTok, and more, these addicting apps are more than just time suckers. Excessive social media use has the potential to be detrimental to your health and well-being. This is especially true for teens who are still physically and psychologically developing. 

Unfortunately, a lack of social media regulation combined with many teens using social media early in life can lead to many negative repercussions, from self-esteem issues to cyberbullying and more. In this article, you’ll learn more about what percentage of teens use social media and how excessive teen social media use can lead to several problems. 

At CTRL Care, we are a mental health center in Princeton committed to helping teens and young adults struggling with mental health and problematic technology use. We use a holistic approach to not just treat the disease, but treat the whole person to improve their overall quality of life and well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder or practices unhealthy technology use, contact us to learn how we can help you live a happier, healthier lifestyle.


What Percentage of Teens Use Social Media?

Although it seems like all teens use social media these days, you may be wondering “what percentage of teens use social media, anyways?”

Surveys suggest that 90% of teenagers use social media. Due to both the prevalence of teens getting phones at a younger age combined with the addictive nature of social media, this results in many teens spending hours each day on social media. Not only does excessive social media use take valuable time out of a teen’s life that could otherwise be spent doing activities and hobbies that interest them. But, social media can lead to various psychological problems both in the short term and long term. This is especially given the teenage years are a fundamental time to develop one’s identity, self-confidence, and self-esteem.


What Are the Problems With Teen Social Media Use?

Social media use isn’t automatically unhealthy. However, due to the addictive nature of social media, excessive social media use can become unhealthy and lead to a range of short-term and long-term problems for teens.

Here are some problems that can occur with teens using social media.

  • Sleep Disruption
  • Cyberbullying
  • Peer Pressure
  • Unrealistic Views of other people’s lives
  • Unhealthy comparison
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination 
  • Lower sense of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Social anxiety and difficulty forming relationships in-person

Long-term unhealthy social media use can not only negatively impact a teen’s sense of identity, but can harm their potential to make lasting, genuine relationships with people in person. While using social media in moderation can help keep you connected with your family and friends online. Excessive use of social media can lead to a range of physical, mental, and social problems that can follow a teen into adulthood.


Tips For Healthy Social Media Use For Teens

Social media use in moderation can be a great way to stay connected with your friends and family online. However, because of how addicting social media is, it’s crucial for teens to follow boundaries and certain tips to be able to use social media in a healthy manner. 

Here are 5 tips parents can implement with their own teens to set healthy boundaries around social media usage:

Tip 1: Set Screen Time Limits

Arguably one of the most obvious drawbacks of social media use is how much of a time sucker it can be. Not only can excessive social media use lead to addiction, but it can take away valuable time your teen can be spending on exploring hobbies and activities that interest them.

Tip 2: Think Before You Post

Once you post something on the Internet, it’s essentially on there forever. Therefore, reinforce to your child the need to carefully consider everything they post and publish online. 

Tip 3: Reinforce Not Everything Online is Real & Factual

Teens can easily be swayed into thinking everything they see online must be true. Parents need to explain to their teens that not everything they see online is real. Parents should also explain to teens that they should be skeptical of what they see and read online, and try to form their own opinions rather than following the views and trends portrayed on social media.

Tip 4: Never “Friend” Strangers

Explain to your child that not everybody on social media is a “good” person. Therefore, they should never “friend” strangers as this has the potential to lead to negative situations down the line.

Tip 5: Lead By Example

If you are a parent that is constantly on your phone, chances are your teen will replicate that behavior. Therefore, try to lead by example and limit your own social media usage and phone usage in general.


CTRLCare Offers Social Media Addiction Treatment For Teens

Now you know more about what percentage of teens use social media and helpful tips on how to promote healthy adolescent social media use. Social media has the potential to negatively impair a teen’s health and well-being. Teens are still developing their sense of identity, and excessive social media use can lead to various short and long-term consequences, especially regarding self-esteem and forming healthy relationships with peers in person. 

At CTRL Care, we offer a range of treatment programs, including social media therapy, that can help your teen effectively treat their addiction or mental health disorder to live a better quality of life. CTRL Care provides various tools and resources, so teens receive the exact care essential to live a more balanced, healthy lifestyle. If your teen is struggling with social media addiction, contact us today to learn how we can help your teen lead a healthier, happier life.

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