Social Media Behaviors in Teens

Social Media Behaviors in Teens: Why Boys Have Power in Social Media

social media behaviors in teens

In the past, teens developed their self-identity from real life experiences. Teens established social status based off of appearance, athletic skill or intelligence. Now, social media has created a blank canvas for teens to present themselves in any way, regardless of their abilities or appearance. It has shaped a sense of invincibility and entitlement in many teens today. A recent article by Psychology Today discusses how media and common social media behaviors in teens have created inappropriate behaviors and expectations between youth.

Boys Will Be Boys

Boys today have developed a view of entitlement. Boys regularly ask girls for naked pictures, and even sexual favors through social media platforms. Boys will be boys, right? Many would think these situations while inappropriate, would be minimal. According to many parents and school professionals around the country, these social media behaviors in teens has become a disturbing phenomenon.

Why do boys believe that these requests are not only acceptable, but for some social groups, required? Boys are taught from a young age that the strongest boy is the leader in social groups. Within society boys are usually judged on the outward appearance of strength and physical ability, but social media has opened a new door for establishing one’s self. Boys who are shy and less aggressive, have the ability to become a social leader via social media behaviors in teens.

Media Exposure

It’s one thing to build a sense of power because of social media behaviors in teens, but why do boys feel the need to use this power to push the limits? Teens and youth today are constantly being exposed to graphic and sexual images displayed by the media. As exposure to sex and violence has increased, so has the acceptance that these situations are normal and expected. Boys believe they are entitled to make provocative requests because no one is discouraging these social media behaviors in teens.

A Disadvantage for Girls

It is empowering to have others listen to what you have to say. Social media often puts boys at an advantage, but unfortunately does the opposite for girls. Girls are taught to build their leadership through relationships, regardless of how they do it. In social media this means complying with their requests. If girls don’t comply, they can find themselves committing social suicide because they put themselves at risk of being shunned by the popular boys.

Girls who have opened up on the matter stated that they often felt held hostage in these situations. Any response they gave would come along with damaging, shameful, or embarrassing consequences. Those who did comply were often called “sluts” or “whores”, and many of the images or videos went viral among their other peers. The ones who didn’t, were called “prudes” and targets of vicious rumors started by the boys they rejected.

Establishing Self-Identity

Teen years serve to help youth establish a self-identity. Social media has afforded boys an opportunity to overcome characteristics that would originally hold them back from becoming a top dog at school. The freedom of social media allows everyone to have a voice, but society cannot continue to ignore how media is influencing behaviors in teens. If we do, inappropriate social media behaviors in teens will only continue to progress.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. 

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today!