Over the past few weeks, as I’ve read more about the mental health ramifications of Instagram and TikTok on teen girls, I couldn’t help but think about my own experience as a teen girl. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that my early teenage years
Emma, this is an amazing and eye-opening piece. I realize that so many of these features we take as the “standard” and forget about what they imply. I’ve also been thinking about the harm that social media brings, even to women in their late 20s. The anxiety that we feel probably doubles or triples in teens who do not have that sense of IDGAF that we’ve developed.
In addition to these points, I wonder if there is a limit to how many genuine connections we can develop until we feel FOMO or burn ourselves out from trying to please everyone and juggling too many conversations. Also, adding onto #3, what are some ways to prevent cyberbullying and trolling? Can this be done during onboarding? Can we do this more intentionally?
@emma, do you have any examples of positive social media/communication for minors? Peer communication is a feature my company has been thinking of building, but we have not because of some of the things you mentioned in your article. It would be great to have examples of someone doing it right.
I think it would be hard to say that ALL women are going to experience social media negatively. It is true that the legacy social media giants are using us to make their click revenue. So could it also be true that we hold a responsibility to ourselves and others not to be ‘sucked’ in? If we maintain a sense of awareness about how we use and more importantly why we are using these platforms, I think we as the consumer could feel more in control of our experience. Making my teenage daughter aware of what she is doing- scrolling endlessly through TikTok- is one way of letting her question herself about what she is doing. It’s very addictive entertainment but so was TV and Vogue magazine for me when I was her age. Let’s strengthen our children’s distancing skills- Awareness is key