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3 Serious Reasons to Keep Your Teenager Away From Social Media

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3 Serious Reasons to Keep Your Teenager Away From Social Media
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In today’s world, social media has become a part of daily life. It gives you a sense of belongingness and acceptance as you interact with like-minded individuals. Social platforms can also help reduce isolation and let you be part of a community.

That’s why Statista predicts that social media users in America will reach 331.09 million by the end of 2028. While it has many benefits, you cannot ignore the dark side, especially for teenagers.

For example, watching social media influencers post everything online can compel your child to share every detail of their life. Doing so can jeopardize their safety, as it attracts negative attention.

As parents, you should keep them away from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, etc., until they turn 18. In this blog, we will discuss three reasons why you should keep your teenagers away from social platforms.

#1. There Are Online Predators

Social platforms are filled with adult predators who pretend to be your children’s age to interact with them. They use fake pictures, offer gifts to your kids, and pretend to like similar things. These pedophiles do all these things to lure teenagers into establishing an online relationship with them.

An estimated 500,000 adult online predators are active every day, looking to interact with underage kids through social media. Statistics suggest that children between 12 and 15 years old are more susceptible to manipulation. That’s why approximately 50% of online sexual victims are in that age group.

Most predators make sexual advances in chat rooms and through direct messaging to ask for explicit photos. The worst part is that they can easily reach at least 40% of teenagers because these teens do not use privacy settings to attract more followers or friends.

Furthermore, many believe that the majority of teen runaways can be directly linked to online connections. Unfortunately, most of these connections are eventually revealed to be adult online predators. These predators feed on your teenager’s ongoing emotional and internal conflicts.

A young adult will not think with logic or consider their safety in such situations. All they want is to find someone who understands them and accepts their ideologies. That’s why, as a parent, you must monitor their online messaging behavior or restrict their account from receiving unknown messages.

#2. It Can Lead to Mental Health Issues

According to the HHS, 53% of teenagers using social media can develop anxiety or depression. Similarly, 54% have low self-esteem, while 59% feel pressured to act differently on social platforms. These statistics prove that prolonged social media use before the age of 18 can adversely affect a young adult’s mental well-being.

But what are the consequences of letting your teenager use social media regularly? Well, they can develop anxiety, body image concerns, and depression as they grow up. It can also lead them down a dangerous path of substance abuse and self-harm.

For example, recent reports have linked Instagram usage to damaging mental health. These include eating disorders, low self–esteem, loneliness, and anxiety in young users. As a result, many have filed personal injury lawsuits for emotional distress against the parent company, Meta. This lawsuit addresses various concerns about Instagram’s potential liabilities and responsibilities for user well-being.

According to TorHoerman Law, anyone who developed ADHD, body dysmorphia, suicidal ideation, mood disorders, etc., due to Instagram use is eligible for payouts. Plaintiffs can seek compensation for medical bills, therapy costs, and emotional suffering.

The legal industry estimates a settlement of USD 68.5 million from the Instagram lawsuit in 2024. However, the individual amounts will depend on the extent of the emotional damages and losses. All these prove how big of an emotional scar social media use can leave behind in a teenager.

#3. Their Brains Aren’t Fully Developed

According to NeuroGrow, social media platforms can alter someone’s attention span, bring about changes in reward pathways, and lead to memory deficits. When adults can succumb to these side effects, imagine how detrimental it will be for your teenager’s developing brain.

Researchers believe that a young adult’s rational part of the brain will not develop until they are 25 years old. That means the connection between the brain’s rational and emotional decision-making parts is still developing. Hence, your teen will process information through their emotional receptors (amygdala) without understanding the logic.

All this results in an overwhelming emotional output. Your teenager’s brain is impulsive, so they cannot handle the fast-paced world of social media. Hence, it can lead to mental health and developmental issues when teens channel their emotions onto social platforms. That’s why Silicon Valley executives believe parents must wait until their child is sixteen before giving them access to social media.

Irrespective of the digital citizenship training, your kid will crave dopamine-driven, high-reward, and low-effort feedback loops. Since their brain’s reasoning center develops late, they can easily get addicted to social media. That’s why self-limiting is something your teen is physically incapable of.

The Way Forward

According to the Pew Research Center, adolescents find it hard to give up social media once they get addicted to it. On average, 36% of teenagers spend too much time on platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, etc. It proves that keeping them away will be a daunting task.

That’s why you should delay access to these platforms. Instead, you should teach them to give greater importance to creating authentic personal relationships. Doing so will help with interpersonal skills and aid brain development.

Similarly, if they already have accounts, follow and monitor their activity to keep online predators at bay. You can also create family accounts or prohibit the use of too many social platforms. All these can help you keep your teenager’s mental health in check.


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