Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. They found that depression was surprisingly common at the high school — and social depression and suicide in teenagers and smartphones play a huge role.
Teens often feel pressure to maintain their images online around the clock, leading to stress and feelings of inadequacy. In the past five years, depression and suicide rates among American teens have shot up. E documentary series “Undercover High,” which followed seven people between ages 21 and 26 as they navigated life at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas. Cell phones are ubiquitous at Highland Park, and teachers often have trouble restraining their students from using them during class. As the undercover participants learned, the increasing prevalence of social media has put pressure on students to maintain their image around the clock. It’s not just your image at school that you have to uphold, like what kind of shoes you’re wearing, what brand are you wearing, what kind of backpack do you have,” Nicolette told Business Insider.
Now you have to uphold this image on social media: how many likes do you have, how many hearts do you have, who are you following, how many followers. And it’s just doubled the impact of what it was before. Another participant, a 23-year-old youth pastor named Daniel, was troubled by the way students equate the popularity of their social media posts with their self-esteem. Their self-value is attached to social media. It’s dependent on how many likes they get on a photo,” he told Business Insider.