An official from the Davao City Population Office said that some teenagers often measure their self-worth using their "social currency." This term, as described by Forbes, refers to how individuals gauge the credibility of someone's brand based on their social media presence.
Maricar F. Gionson, population program officer of the City Population Office, expressed concern
about teenagers' preoccupation with social currency during a radio interview on Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday morning, January 8, 2024.
She noted that many teenagers post content to please others, compromising their identity in the process.
Gionson emphasized the negative impact of this behavior, as it makes the process of building their true selves more challenging.
“Na compromise na ang pagbuild sa iyang identity, imbes naga struggle siya sa iyang kaugalingon nagiging mas lisod siya kay nawala man siya– kay nagpuyo man siya pleasing other people ("Building their identity has been compromised; instead of struggling with their true selves, it becomes more challenging because they've lost themselves – living to please others),” Gionson said.
She also underscored the potential adverse effects of excessive social media use on teenagers, who are still in the developmental stage.
She said that teenagers seek belongingness, and validation, and struggle with building their self-esteem during this critical phase.
Unsupervised social media use, she warned, may lead to heightened stress, anxiety, and depression among teenagers.
She also said that some online photos or videos showcasing the accomplishments and travel destinations of others can lead to insecurity in people.
“Kaning mga batan-on nga dili pa nila ma process ug tarung ilang feelings so mas greater ang effect sa ilaha– and ang tendency for many of them ilahang basulon ilang kalisod (These young individuals, who have yet to properly process their feelings, are more profoundly affected – and there is a tendency for many of them to attribute their difficulties to these posts),” Gionson said.
Gionson urged parents to monitor their children's screen time, as some teenagers use social media as an emotional outlet. She advised them to engage in open communication with their children to ensure they do not rely on social media as a temporary solution for their feelings. RGP