New Survey Shows More Than Half (54%) Of US Teens Think Life Would Be Better Without Social Media

The Invisalign® Brand Sponsored Teen Confidence Survey Reveals that 40 percent of Social Media-Using US Teens Feel Their Appearance is Judged More on these Networks than in Person

Sep 19, 2014, 08:00 ET from Align Technology, Inc.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Grappling with low self-esteem during the "awkward years" is nothing new, but today's teens have to do it in parallel worlds – online and offline. With the new school year underway, a particularly vulnerable time for teens, a new Teen Confidence survey conducted by Kelton and commissioned by the makers of Invisalign Teen® clear aligners indicates struggles with appearance add to the angst teens feel, which is magnified in this age of social media.

"Social media complicates life for teens. They need help figuring out this new stage of life, but chances are they aren't going to be the ones to initiate the conversation," said Jennifer Jolly, tech lifestyle expert and host of Tech Now for USA Today. "Moms who want to do what's best for their teens and boost their confidence, shouldn't underestimate how embarrassing it is for their kids to be different, whether it's braces, glasses or growth and 'hormone-driven' issues." 

While 92 percent of teens are social media users, with photo- and video-driven sites being among the most popular with this group, more than half (54%) say that their teen years would be better without social media. Additionally, 40 percent of social-media using teens feel that their appearance is judged more closely on these popular networks than in person, and 40 percent believe it's more difficult to express the image they want others to have of them on social media. Even so, of these teens (87%) regularly post "selfies" to social media, though 56 percent admit they worry about their looks most days.

The survey also found that a majority of self-conscious teens want to improve their chances of fitting in and boosting their confidence by changing their appearance.

  • An overwhelming majority (96%) of US teens who are not satisfied with their smile are insecure about their appearance.
  • About 30 percent of them are most self-conscious about their teeth.
  • Over 47 percent of those who post selfies on social media think about whether their smile looks good before uploading a picture of themselves.

Braces seem to be an area of particular angst with teens.  While the study suggests a desire for teens to improve their smile, braces may have a negative impact along the way.  More than nine in ten (92%) US teens who have never worn metal braces say that wearing brackets would keep them from fitting in, and one in four (25%) believe they would be teased.  Forty-one percent (41%) think it is embarrassing for most teens to wear metal braces.  However, there is a solution that can boost confidence while helping teens achieve an improved smile at the same time – Invisalign Teen clear aligners.

  • The Teen Confidence study revealed that just 8 percent say that wearing Invisalign Teen clear aligners would be embarrassing for most teens, while 41 percent think this humiliation would be caused by wearing metal braces. And straightening teeth with Invisalign Teen clear aligners can actually help boost self-esteem. 
  • Forty-seven percent (47%) of Invisalign Teen users surveyed had a boost of self-esteem in the process of treatment compared to just 22 percent of those in metal braces.

The Invisalign Teen Confidence survey polled 3,577 US teenagers ages 13-17 and 2,118 US mothers of teens ages 13-17, plus an oversample of 101 mothers of teens ages 13-17 who wear or have worn Invisalign clear aligners, using an e-mail invitation and online survey between June 19th and July 17th, 2014.

This online survey also revealed:
Teens are worried about their appearance and would like to alter their appearance:

  • 94 percent of teens think their appearance influences their popularity.
  • Body shape or weight (38%) and skin type (21%) are common things insecure teens are most self-conscious about, with nearly 2.4 million teens most self-conscious about their teeth
  • Close to nine in ten teens (87%) wish to alter their appearance. One quarter (25%) of them would like to improve their teeth, which is almost twice as many as those who would alter another facial feature.

Complete view of survey findings can be accessed here.

About Align Technology, Inc., Makers of the Invisalign® Clear Aligner System

Adults and teens now have a modern choice for straightening their teeth. No more wires and brackets required – Invisalign and Invisalign Teen aligners are the clear alternative to metal braces that uses a series of virtually invisible and removable aligners that gradually move teeth over time. The benefits include: no food restrictions, no interference with sports or other activities, and teeth get straightened without most people knowing they are in treatment. Learn more at www.invisalignteen.com and find a trained Invisalign doctor at www.invisalign.com.

All Invisalign products are designed, manufactured and marketed by Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN). Today the Invisalign product family includes Invisalign Full, Invisalign Teen®, Invisalign Assist®, Invisalign Express and Vivera® Retainers. Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are trademarks of Align Technology, Inc.  Align Technology develops innovative, technology-rich products such as the Invisalign system and the iTero® scanner and services. Visit www.aligntech.com for more information.

About Kelton

Kelton is a leading global insights firm serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations.  Utilizing a wide range of customized, innovative research techniques and staff expertise in marketing, branding, PR, media, and business strategy, Kelton helps drive our clients' businesses forward. For more information about Kelton please call 1.888.8.KELTON or visit www.keltonglobal.com.

Contact: Jackie Jorge
GOLD PR
jjorge@goldpr.com, 818.430.2528

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SOURCE Align Technology, Inc.



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