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9 Ways Social Media Shapes Children's Self-Perception

Written by: Maria G. Alcaraz, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Maria G. Alcaraz

In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of children's lives. While it can offer numerous benefits, such as connectivity and information-sharing, it also plays a significant role in shaping children's self-perception. The images, content, and interactions they encounter on social media can have a profound impact on how they view themselves. Here are nine ways in which social media shapes children's self-perception:

9 Ways Social Media Shapes Children's Self-Perception photo

1. Comparison Culture

Social media platforms are common with carefully curated images and lifestyles. Children often compare themselves to these seemingly perfect lives, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy. They may start to believe that their own lives are not as exciting or glamorous, affecting their self-esteem.

2. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Children see their peers posting about exciting events and experiences on social media. When they feel left out or excluded, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and the belief that they are somehow less valuable or interesting than their friends.

3. Body Image

Social media is a hotspot for body image issues. Kids are exposed to unrealistic beauty standards, photo filters, and photo editing that can distort their perception of their own bodies. This can lead to body dissatisfaction and even contribute to the development of eating disorders.

4. Likes And Validation

The number of likes, comments, and shares on a post can become a measure of a child's self-worth. A lack of likes or negative comments can be emotionally distressing, affecting their self-esteem.

5. Cyberbullying

Social media platforms are not immune to cyberbullying. Children who experience online harassment or bullying may internalize the negative comments, believing that there must be something wrong with them to attract such negativity.

6. Influencer Culture

Many kids aspire to be social media influencers or emulate their favorite influencers. While this can provide inspiration, it can also lead to a lack of authenticity as children try to conform to a particular online persona rather than being themselves.

7. Filtering Reality

Social media allows users to present only the best aspects of their lives. Children may believe that everyone else's life is perfect, while their own is full of flaws. This can create unrealistic expectations for themselves and their lives.

8. Constant Comparisons

The constant exposure to the achievements, possessions, and lifestyles of others can make children feel as though they are not measuring up. This relentless cycle of comparison can erode their self-confidence and self-worth.

9. Feedback Loop

Social media can create a feedback loop where children's self-perception is reinforced by the content they engage with. If they frequently engage with negative or self-critical content, it can further harm their self-esteem.

While social media can have a negative impact on children's self-perception, there are ways to mitigate these effects. You as a parent or caregiver can help your children by encouraging open and non-judgmental conversations about their online experiences, teaching your children to critically evaluate the content they consume on social media, making sure they have opportunities to engage in real-life activities that boost their self-esteem, helping them understand that nobody is perfect and that it's okay to make mistakes, and by curating their online experience to include positive and uplifting content.

By being aware of the potential negative effects of social media and taking steps to address them, you can help your children develop a healthy self-perception and a positive relationship with social media.

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Maria G. Alcaraz Brainz Magazine

Maria G. Alcaraz, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Maria G. Alcaraz is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience working in various settings and populations, including working with foster youth, young children, transitional aged youth, and adults struggling with life difficulties which can include and not limited to concerns with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, family problems, and trauma etc. She is the CEO & Founder of Unity Therapy Services, Inc. a mental health practice located in California. Her goal is to help her clients to move towards a hopeful balanced future and regain a sense of normalcy.



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