by Tom McBride

The Mindset List of Anxious Adolescence: A Teen’s Brain on Social Media

The great social media platforms permit teens, and the rest of us, to network, find interesting acquaintances, and share inspiring moments. Social psychologists and parents say that social media also makes teens anxious. Adolescence is a tough time anyhow—all those self-esteem and developmental issues—but social media platforms, combined with recession, pandemics, and political bitterness, make things even worse. Lots of kids do fine with Facebook and Instagram and all the others, but many will struggle and find social media a paradoxically addictive burden. Here’s the pubescent mindset of an incessant process that some experts think is becoming a national problem.

1.  Our social sciences teacher said people our age bet overly nervous about friendship.

2. I’m glad to see that Abby is over in Ridgewood now, but what am I missing out on?

3. I don’t know this person, but it wouldn’t be nice not to accept his friendship.

4. Mario likes all my posts—does he really mean it?

5. I posted an hour ago; why hasn’t Rebecca liked it yet?

6. Antonio likes all my posts but never comments; what am I doing wrong?

7. There’s no way I can break up with Deb and forget about her without de-friending all her friends, Help!

8. I read on a blog that humans are wired to keep up with 150 close acquaintances max; I’ve got over 2500 friends and counting.

9. Galen comments but never likes—is he sending me a message?

10. Eli keeps putting his face on Dr. Kevorkian’s body; should I tell his parents and get dissed for interfering?

11. Can you believe that Deb has actually friended her mom?

12. How can I tell when Gwen is being ironic when she won’t use emojis?

13. I’ve always wanted to say, “I’ll log into your breakdown if you’ll log into mine,” but I’d lose a thousand friends if I did.

14. Do they care what I think as much as I care what they think?

15. Why do I feel like I’m always “on?”

16. Julie always expects me to common right away—stressed out when I have nothing to say

17. I’ve been bullied a little bit, but Jeffrey has been blackmailed, so I’m doing pretty well.

18. They say you get depressed if you’re on more than three hours a day, so I keep mine down to 2 hours and 59 minutes.

19. Carlos’ parents actually tried to hide his phone while he was sleeping—do I secretly wish my parents would do that?

20. I don’t know a single lurker who’s not on a downer most of the time.

21. Why does everyone seem happier than I am? Are they asking the same thing about me?

22. My best friend is the class weirdo, but we keep it strictly off line.

23. Hey, I’m also able to share beautiful moments and link up with people overseas, and that sometimes happens twice a week.

24. My older sister is so cool: she told me she felt a lot of pre-screen anxiety, too, when she was my age.

25. You can control how many yogurts you drink, but you can’t control being tagged unless you want to disconnect—social suicide.

26. In digital society, it’s not possible to be too effusive, or too glossy.

27.  Some days I see cute pics; other days, cries for help; some days cries for help LINKED to cute pics.


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