In a world of increasingly present social media, this makes us sad, but doesn’t really surprise us. Seventeen spoke with 11 teens about how Snapchat affects their confidence, and their replies are a bit of a mixed bag.
For some people, social media helps keep relationships strong. But for others, social media might cause loneliness. Everyone’s experience is different; it really depends on the person and how they use it. However, some scientists think that checking social media often may reduce gray matter in your brain. Yikes!
However, there are some feelings that many teens had in common — like the pressure to present themselves a certain.
Lots of teenagers feel pressured to perform in order to impress Snapchat followers.
“Most of my activities are planned around Snapchat and what I can or can’t post. If I’m not posting enough, I definitely feel uncool AF.” –Ella, 16
This pressure goes both ways.
Teens feel pressured to present a social-media-worthy life, even if it’s not genuine. But for the people who see these uber-glam Snapchat posts and stories, it just creates a lot of FOMO.
“I love Snapchat, but I know it isn’t good for me emotionally because it perpetuates feelings of FOMO all the time.” –Sarah, 13
But for others, the app can be a great ego boost!
“Snapchat makes me feel sexy. I like being able to control the way I look in on the screen.” –Emma, 18
And while some love the filters for the potential they show…
“Snapchat reminds me how beautiful I have the potential to be.” –Andrew, 18
…others find them to be an uncomfortable point of comparison.
“Snapchat makes me more insecure because I’m always comparing my body to ones with filters. I think as I’ve gotten older this has gotten a little easier.” –Cameron, 18
Let’s not forget that the addiction is real.
Whichever direction Snapchat impacts your confidence, the fact that so many of us feel the need to be connected to it at all times can feel like a problem regardless.
“I love Snapchat, and the filters help me with my relationship with my body in the way that I can make them look prettier if I want to, or more natural if I want to. However, I am constantly checking my Snapchat. It’s kind of like an addiction I have that I wish I could feel more control over.” –Blair, 18
Keeping up with updating your social media and seeing what’s happening on friends’ can be overwhelming.
“Checking bae’s Snapchat has become a full obsession. Sometimes I will put makeup on to just go outside to take a picture to make it look like my life is glamorous and I naturally look this way. Filters work magic.” –Allegra, 17
Social media can be an enriching part of our days and relationships. But sometimes we forget that it’s a nice addition to our lives — not the sum of our lives. We hope all these teens — and all of us, really — figure out the best way to make social media work for them, instead of working for the best Snapchat.