11,000 14-year-olds participated in the study, and although researchers cannot yet say for sure that excessive use of social networks causes mental problems, evidence is beginning to emerge in this direction. The study also showed that young people who spend a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram and other networks sleep less than would be normal for their age and, worse than that, two thirds of the girls declared that they were verbally harassed on these networks. A quarter of the boys participating in the study declared that they too were verbally assaulted.
The risk of depression for girls who spend long hours on social networks is accentuated by the fact that many people they follow do their best to post perfect pictures and show others their flawless lives. So, many insecure teenage girls who do not have extraordinary lives end up with low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with their bodies, overall physical appearance and achievements.
The risk of depression in teenage girls. What can you do as a parent?
Talk to her about the time she should spend on social networks, suggesting other activities to keep her away from the Internet throughout the day.
Reassure her that if someone addresses her inappropriately on social media or feels threatened, she can confidently come talk to you and find a solution together.
Remind your girl that not everything posted on social media is true and that just because people choose to post only nice things, it doesn’t mean their lives are ideal or that they never have problems.
Explain that a perfect complexion from a picture he sees on the Internet can be easily achieved with the help of makeup or photo editing programs, and that there is little chance that a figure will look like this naturally. Tell her that it’s natural for her to want to look good too, but to do it for herself, not to impress others. Show her how to eat a balanced diet and how to take care of herself according to her age, and direct her to a sport she likes, stressing that beauty means first and foremost health. Very important, be careful what model you give them: a teenager needs to see that his parents are people who are satisfied with their physical appearance, confident in their intellectual qualities and confident in their own strengths.