Is Social Media Creating Teen Jealousy 


As a teenager, there are multiple stages of developing a romantic relationship. It’s not like the old days where you knew you were an item because they gave you their pin or Letterman jacket. In today’s culture, the multiple stages of relationships include, talking, hanging out, dating, and now there’s even being “Facebook official.” Many teens feel that if their relationship isn’t “Facebook official” then it’s not actually an official relationship.  The stages of relationships with youth is extremely confusing for most adults, so I can only image how it must feel for teens. A recent article by Psychology Today discussed a new study that has found elements of social media—like being “Facebook official” or posts—are creating teen jealousy and emotional issues in youth.

Research on Social Media & Teen Jealousy

The researchers conducted a study on nine different groups, consisting of 68 males and 158 females with an average age of 19. They asked the participants to view a selection of different scenarios on Facebook, regarding their significant other at the time or previous partners. The scenarios consisted of them viewing a varied number of photos of them together on Facebook and their partner’s privacy settings—the scenarios consisted of having very few photos together, having their settings set to hide photos from other people, or them having multiple photos with an ex but not them. The researchers then asked each participant to state how jealous, angry, disgusted or hurt they felt in response to the scenario they were presented.

What they found was that females reported stronger feelings of teen jealousy, anger, hurt, and disgust to all of the scenarios than males did. They also found that when participants thought their romantic partner had no photos of them as a couple on Facebook, they felt significantly more teen jealousy, anger, hurt and disgust. Most participants experienced feeling more intense negative emotions.

Emotional Instability in Girls

Based on their findings researchers believe that females generally experience a greater amount of negative emotion when they believe that other people can see a lack of official evidence of them being in a relationship. Females desire a degree of approval from others and tend to define their self-concept on what others think. Elements of social media like posts and being “Facebook official” are stemming teen jealousy and emotional issues in young girls today. Girls are basing their self-worth on how much their relationship is displayed on social media. Reducing the amount of social media teens use may be an effective way to reduce teen jealousy and the emotional issues being caused.

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. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today!

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