American Teens Define and Establish Themselves on Social Media, but There Is a Dark Side
The main reason teenagers are so tethered to their smartphones is social connection—and thus social media. Social media is woven into the fabric of their lives, fulfilling many roles and needs.
To learn more about American teens’ social media habits, here are some results of a recent US survey carried out with our Awesomeness brand in mind:
American teens use social media to cultivate self-esteem and define themselves. They generally feel that social media boosts their confidence – 82% say their social media experiences make them feel good about themselves. Close to three-quarters (72%) feel their profiles reflect who they really are.
Social media is a source of new connections –and for some, new experiences. The majority of American teens (65%) say they have had real-life interactions with friends they met online. A quarter of them have done something just to post about it on social media.
They use social media to determine their place in the social order. Most American teens (58%) believe it’s important for people their age to be popular on social media. A similar percentage (56%) would like to have a larger following than they currently have.
When viewing others’ posts, they value originality. Nearly 6 in 10 (57%) American teens don’t like it when people post the same content across multiple social media platforms.
For many, social media has a dark side. From worrying about follower counts and creating interesting content to dealing with trolls, drama, and negative backlash, social media can be stressful for teens. Sometimes they’re the ones creating the stress. A fifth of American teens say they have trolled someone, left a mean comment on someone’s post, or wanted to hang out with someone just because they were popular on social media. For some, the social media world can be secretive – 1 in 3 have created a social media profile their parents don’t know about.