Are Teens More Stressed with Social Media than Adults?

Mar 26, 2014

Tags: , , ;

“Like mother, like daughter” – teens in America are adopting adult stress habits. From a recent study, researchers concluded that teens are among the most stressed in America. The stress isn’t due to a combination of extracurricular activities, employment, and academics but rather an overload of social media stimulation.

Many teens admit to feeling the need to maintain their social status 24x7 which explains why 73 percent of teens are now using social media and 11.5 percent are hyper-networking (using social media more than 3 hours/school day.) The draw to be connected to social media is constant, especially at an age where status and image are everything. However, there are consequences to always checking updates, texting, and tweeting all at the same time.

Researchers at University of California Irvine tracked the heart rate of those who stayed connected and received a constant stream of messages.  They found that their heart rates were higher than those who weren’t always connected and multi-tasking.  The need to feel “a part” of the crowd is affecting teens overall, from lack of sleep to lower grades. Although researchers cannot conclude that stress is a direct result of social media, they have enough data and testimonials to assume that the two are associated.

When stress isn’t adequately managed, teens can become anxious, aggressive, depressed or turn to other forms of coping. Parents can help children avoid social media stress by helping them manage their time and attention, presenting other social outlets, and watching for signs of overload. 

Be involved with your teens’ social lives. Net Nanny Social offers parents the ability to monitor a child’s social networks and set daily time limits.