Adolescence Contemporary Issues and Trends: Social Media Use

Adolescence Contemporary Issues and Trends: Social Media Use

Social media is an integral part of the lives of many teenagers globally. Adolescents use social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. These sites enable teenagers to build social networks, communicate with peers globally, and create online identities.

Adolescence Contemporary Issues and Trends: Social Media Use

Additionally, the social networks create valuable social support for a variety, allow for self-expression, and provide humorous distractions that can help adolescents avoid issues such as teenage depression. However, the rapid growth of research on social media has demonstrated the potential association of social media with mental health issues, making it a much-studied and polarized subject (Schønning et al., 2020).

Furthermore, Seo et al. (2021) assert that the ubiquity of social media uses among adolescents and its associated anonymity can easily lead to cyberbullying, blaming, and criticism. Moreover, teens with many anonymous online relationships with strangers are socially isolated in real life. The stress related to the use of social media increases the risk for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression.

Due to the increased affordability of smartphones and computer devices coupled with the high penetration of fast internet connectivity all over, including free Wi-Fi, the development of internet addiction disorder among teenagers becomes highly probable.

Gupta et al. (2018) state that with the limitless information and potential offered by the internet, teenagers have become addicted to incessantly consuming the available data, leading to internet addiction among the cohort. Uncontrollable urges to use online data, peer pressure to use social media sites, and using the internet excessively lead to health problems such as anxiety, sleep disorders, impulsivities, mood disorders, and in extreme scenarios, suicidal attempts.

However, despite the positive effects of using social media, such as reduced stress, well-being, social support, and improved life quality, evidence suggests that the use of social media among adolescents causes loneliness, low self-esteem, reduced psychological well-being, and symptoms of depression and anxiety (Shannon et al., 2022). Therefore, relevant stakeholders should undertake conscious efforts to combat social media addiction and negative use among adolescents.

Assessment Strategies

Depending on one’s target demographic population, the symptoms of internet addiction disorder vary greatly. However, when individuals cannot independently handle their social media addiction, they tend to develop some common symptoms. Therefore, healthcare providers can use appropriate tests to screen for these problems.

During the assessment of an adolescent patient, the Internet Process Addiction Test (IPAT) is a valuable tool. Internet addiction tests help determine how dependent one is on the internet and symptoms that require therapy and interventions (Sela et al., 2021).

Additional questions to ask the client include the severity of their symptoms and desires for healthier internet consumption to establish mutually agreed, realistic, and achievable goals for therapy and interventions. Furthermore, I would adhere to all ethical principles and ensure my client’s privacy and confidentiality, beneficence, non-maleficence, and informed consent on all information shared with outside parties.

Support Options

There are several support options for adolescents encountering external stressors related to the use of social media. Support options include talking with teenagers about the essence of in-person social interactions, setting reasonable limits, and explaining the harms of internet addiction. The “RESTART” program is designed to help adolescents struggling with internet addiction savor guidance from experts and healthcare professionals to combat the issue. Chan et al. (2018) assert that the “RESTART” program helps teenagers improve their tendencies to use the internet overuse, including social networks.


Chan, M. L. E., Cheung, W. T. N., Yeung, N. Y. D., Kwok, F. P. A., & Wong, H. Y. R. (2018). An Evaluation Study of the “RESTART” Program—Short-Term Residential Treatment for Addiction. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 16(6), 1357–1372.

Gupta, A., Khan, A. M., Rajoura, O. P., & Srivastava, S. (2018). Internet addiction and its mental health correlates among undergraduate college students of a university in North India. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 7(4), 721–727.

Schønning, V., Hjetland, G. J., Aarø, L. E., & Skogen, J. C. (2020). Social Media Use and Mental Health and Well-Being Among Adolescents – A Scoping Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(1949).

Sela, Y., Bar-Or, R. L., Kor, A., & Lev-Ran, S. (2021). The Internet addiction test: Psychometric properties, socio-demographic risk factors and addictive co-morbidities in a large adult sample. Addictive Behaviors, 122, 107023.

Seo, J., Lee, C.-S., Lee, Y.-J., Bhang, S.-Y., & Lee, D. (2021). The Type of Daily Life Stressors Associated with Social Media Use in Adolescents with Problematic Internet/Smartphone Use. Psychiatry Investigation.

Shannon, H., Bush, K., Villeneuve, P., Hellemans, K., & Guimond, S. (2022). Problematic Social Media Use in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Meta-Analysis (Preprint). JMIR Mental Health, 9(4).

Adolescence: Contemporary Issues and Resources Instructions

Issue I choose is social media

Research the range of contemporary issues teenagers face today. In a 500-750-word paper, choose one issue (besides teen pregnancy) and discuss its effect on adolescent behavior and overall well-being. Include the following in your submission:

Describe the contemporary issue and explain what external stressors are associated with this issue.
Outline assessment strategies to screen for this issue and external stressors during an assessment for an adolescent patient. Describe what additional assessment questions you would need to ask and define the ethical parameters regarding what you can and cannot share with the parent or guardian.

Discuss support options for adolescents encountering external stressors. Include specific support options for the contemporary issue you presented.

You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.