Digital Stress: Why are Adolescents Suffering from It?

Counseling in DenverHas your teenage son or daughter been feeling down and isolated these past days or weeks, for no apparent reason?

Not all children are open to their parents, and not being able to relate their thoughts leaves them distressed and you clueless. If your children are unnaturally quiet or distanced lately, something must have happened. A study suggests that if nothing happened in school or at home, maybe something did while your teenagers were online.

We are all aware that most, if not all, adolescents are on the Internet almost the entire day. The Net is a very potent place for intrigues, misinformation, and bullying. It would be a good idea to send your children to counseling in Denver if you suspect that an online-related incident caused his or her recent behavior. Before you do, however, you might want to know what goes on on the internet that’s causing your child so much stress.

What is Digital Stress?

When an individual encounters negative interactions on social media, in chat rooms, emails, texts, and anywhere on the internet, this causes a great amount of stress. The Pew Research Center says, “These technologies are said to take over people’s lives, creating time and social pressures that put people at risk for the negative physical and psychological health effects that can result from stress.”

What are the usual stressors?

Researchers Robert Selman and Emily Weinstein from The Harvard Graduate School of Education analyzed 2,000 stories about problems on the internet sent by teens through Over the Line, a website established by MTV. They sorted the stressors into two groups:

  • Type 1 Stressors
    • These exhibit expressions of hostility and cruelty.
      • Impersonation – The purpose of this is to mock and embarrass the victim. People do this by either hacking into another person’s account or by setting up fake social media accounts pretending to be the victim.
      • Public Humiliation – This is what happens when someone – a friend or a classmate – leaks a nude photo that they have access to or when they broadcast a long-kept secret through social media.
      • Harassing Personal Attacks – These are anonymous messages of hate, which can actually trigger someone into hurting or killing themselves. This happens on social media sites where people can send messages to users anonymously, such as Tumblr.
  • Type 2 Stressors
    • These are displays of navigating closeness in relationships.
      • Going through someone else’s account – This involves rifling through someone else’s phone or computer without their consent.
      • Feeling Smothered – This consists of being in constant contact with their friends or significant others, which is common, especially that unlimited texts are a thing now. It’s when the other party won’t stop and telling them to cease their actions may signify the end of a relationship.
      • Pressure to Comply – This happens when teens feel pressured to give their significant others or friends access to their accounts as a sign of trust.

Many teens are afraid of telling their parents about their problems, leaving them helpless. Apart from bringing the teenagers to therapy, it is important for parents to let their children know they can be trusted with anything.