CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Social media has become one of the primary ways kids communicate with each other. With the new school year upon us, Coastal Bend guidance counselors are dealing with more teens whose mental health is impacted by these apps.
“Before I put my phone down to go to bed, I’m usually on Instagram or Snapchat looking through it,” said Calallen student Andrew Rosas.
Almost everyone is on social media. In many cases, it’s the first thing people check when they wake up, and the last before they go to sleep.
But social media can sometimes take a toll on teenagers’ mental health. Calallen school counselor Erika Vasquez says in the past two years, social media has been 70 percent of students’ issues with themselves, or their friends.
“Their self-esteem starts coming down where they start questioning themselves like, ‘Am I not good enough?'” Vasquez said.
KRIS 6 News asked a few students about the effects social media has, and their answers were honest.
“Everyone wants to be super skinny, have that gorgeous body, but sometimes it’s not always like that,” said student Maddy Flores.
And it’s not just the girls who feel the pressure to fit in.
“We always want to be the most ‘liked’ photo, or we really want a lot of people to see what we do in our lives,” Rosas said.
For some, it’s an easier way than traditional spoken communication.
“A lot of kids depend on it,” said student Piper Harper. “And they’re better at talking through social media than face to face in person.”
Technology has made growing up a little more difficult. but Vasquez feels parents, for the most part, are on top of what their kids are looking at.
“Talk to our kids, and anything that they post, kind of question them about it,” Vasquez said.
Addressing what seems like minor situations with your kids now, can prevent major lasting effects down the road.
“High school isn’t forever,” she said. “And you’re going to go on to bigger things.”
Counselors want their students to know they are a safe place for them and any kind of issue or questions they may have.