Social media is a large part of how teenagers interact with each other; however, it also overwhelms many teens and leads them to experience burnout. Some teenagers begin using social media as a way to engage with their peers, but the pressures resulting from its use eventually cause them to take breaks or leave the medium entirely.
A report done by the Pew Research Center found that roughly 40% of teens on social media feel the need to post only things that will receive lots of likes, or generally portray them in a generous light. Nearly half of the teenagers in the study admitted to feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of social media.
Social media, and all the drama that comes with it, often leads many teens to take breaks from it. The Associated Press and National Opinion Research Center at the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago studied these breaks. They found that 58% of teens reported taking some form of break from social media. Half of those teens said their breaks lasted for around a week, and 60% reported they have taken a break on more than three occasions. The study also reported that 23% of those who hadn’t taken breaks wanted to.
Although social media has many benefits, it seems clear that the pressures that come from it often overwhelm teenagers. Many young people need to take time away to rest and recover mentally from the harm, such as depression or anxiety, that social media can cause. However, few manage to abandon it completely, as they are constantly drawn back in by the fear of missing out on what everyone else is doing.
[Sources: Wall Street Journal; Associated Press]