Karina Tsoy / Staff Reporter

It is not a secret that social media is one of the primary sources of countless mental health and emotional issues for teenage girls. Raging from cyberbullying to unrealistic beauty standards, social media has targeted and harmed teen girls for years, all over the globe. A study conducted at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah suggests that “girls who started using social media at 13 for 2 or 3 hours a day, and then increased that use over time, had the highest levels of suicide risk in emerging adulthood.”

For many the day starts off by checking their phone and visiting popular online platforms. “I wake up and the first thing I do is check social media.” said Erika Kuang, grade 10. “Without doing so, I feel like I’m missing something.”

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A study by Common Sense Media reports that an average teenager spends a whopping nine hours on media entertainment a day, with teenage girls spending 40 minutes more on social media than boys.

The emotional and mental harm inflicted on teens girls by being present online can be linked to unrealistic beauty standards set by the online community. “I think seeing posts of people with “the perfect body” or the “perfect life” could have a negative impact on girls who may not exactly believe that they have that.” said Bahar Hariri, grade 9.

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A 2018 study conducted by MDPI found a connection between time spent on social media and negative body image. “I believe that society pushes unrealistic beauty standards, and many teenage girls don’t fit those standards making them feel negatively about themselves.” said Erika. Constant comparison, photoshop and filters can all lead to unhealthy dieting, loss of sleep, anxiety, and depression in teenage girls. “There are times that I do get negatively impacted by things I see on Social Media.” said Bahar. “There are also times when I had felt insecure about myself after seeing a post of somebody else.”

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Another major factor of social media that can bring harm to teen girls is cyberbullying and online harassment. “Everyone on the internet can say what they want to say and there’s not much we can do about it but educate those on how their words can be impacting others.” said Erika. A 2021 statistic reveals that 71% of adults that know of a case of cyberbullying against a school-aged individual reported that the victim was a female. “I felt anxious because I thought I could be the target.” said Yedam Jang, grade 11. “Since you can be exposed to an unspecified number of people, you can be harmed by anyone.”

With over 3.6 billion people online worldwide, social media can be a dangerous and unpredictable place for anyone, especially teenage girls. Extreme beauty standards and online harassment are just a few examples of ways social media has harmed teen girls for years. As said by Yedam Jang, social media “is the biggest problem for teenage girls.” 


Increased levels of suicide risk study

Common Sense Media study

Unrealistic beauty standards


2021 cyberbullying statistics


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Featured Image (phone)

Teen girl watching phone

Negative body image