Parents are 4 times more likely to say social media has a positive effect on their child's self-esteem than a negative one


teens texting


Social media's effect on our psyches is far from clear.


Some argue that it's eroding our sense of self and leading us into a spiral of trying to make our lives look perfect on the outside, while inwardly feeling like frauds.

This view was recently articulated by a 18-year-old Instagram star who decided to quit social media altogether. Essena O'Neill was paid thousands of dollars by brands to hawk products to her 500,000 followers. But it didn't make O'Neill happy.

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"I felt the same as a young girl, I would just spend hours looking at everyone else's perfect lives and I strived to make mine look just as good," she wrote. "Guess I succeeded. It's totally stupid. Everyone's doing it. And I know you didn't come into this world just wanting to fit in and get by."

But you know who's not worried about that?


Parents, according to a new study by survey platform Qualtrics. In a survey of around 1,000 parents with children between 8 and 17, respondents were a whopping four times as likely to say social media has had a positive impact on their children's self-esteem than a negative one. 46.4% of parents said social media exerted a positive effect, while just 10.7% said it was negative (42.9% said neither).

So the question is, are parents simply out of touch with their children's feelings, or are those who speak out against social media's anxiety-inducing tendencies actually a vocal minority?

Science seems to still be undecided. Some studies say Facebook can make us happy, while others say it makes us sad and lonely.

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