How often do you check your Facebook page? Do you dwell on the amount of “likes” your status or photo gets? If you do, you aren’t alone. Social media can really do a number on a person’s self-esteem, both positively and negatively.

If social media has the power to give an adult negative feelings, imagine what it can do to a child’s life or a teenager’s?

Body Image

A study conducted by Florida State University found that a group of women who were asked to browse Facebook for 20 minutes experienced greater body dissatisfaction than those who spent 20 minutes online researching rainforest cats. Claire Mysko, an award-winning author on body image, states that “social media creates an environment where disordered thoughts and behaviors really thrive.”


It’s easier to be cruel when sitting behind a computer screen. A person can attack someone else without having to have a face-to-face conversation. Cyberbullying can happen to anyone, at any age.

Pay attention to your children and monitor their social media usage. If they are allowed to have Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook, make it a rule that they have to be friends with you without any filters on what you can and can’t see.

Anxiety & Depression

Social media is the perfect place to see what others in your age group are doing. Perhaps you’re in high school and see classmates posting about getting into colleges and getting scholarships. Or maybe you are in college and see friends who went to college elsewhere posting photos of themselves having fun, making new friends, and thriving in their new setting. Maybe you are out of college and see friends getting engaged, married, and/or making baby announcements.

There’s a sort of pressure that social media can put on a person: I should have heard back from colleges by now, I should be getting married, I should be having children, I should have my career figured out. It can make a person anxious, depressed, or stressed out.


Stay away from social media. Based on just how debilitating social media is for you, make the decision to stay away from it for a while. After two weeks, grade yourself: Do you feel better about yourself? Have your anxious moments decreased? Are you happier?

If you don’t think you can stop, at least monitor your usage. Know your triggers. If there’s a group of people who make you feel bad about yourself, block or unfollow them. Take the social media apps off of your phone so you are less likely to check them throughout the day.

Reach out for help. Being bullied or made to feel like you don’t matter because of someone on the internet isn’t something anyone should have to deal with on their own. For some people, being bullied online can lead to suicidal thoughts or feelings of depression. If you are concerned about your life or the life of your child, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Blogging? via photopin (license)