Teen girls open up about the 'constant pressure' of social media

In a conversation set up by ABC News, a group of 15- to 17-year-old girls talked about the stress in the lives as their mothers listened in.
5:49 | 11/02/17

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Transcript for Teen girls open up about the 'constant pressure' of social media
the glass. Every girl thinks they have to do better than the other girl. There's a constant pressure with everybody. Sometimes it's like, your stomach area is fat. I'm like, wait, is it? Reporter: Teen girls offering surprising details about their struggles. I see a lot of criticism towards me on social media. Reporter: Many adolescents having to confront the daily realities of new age pressures, from cyber bullying to modern dating. In some cases parents left in the dark. So we brought a group of high schoolers together for an honest conversation about what it's like to be a teen girl today. Unbeknownst to them, on the other side of this glass will sit their moms, right here, listening and learning about their daughters. Nearly 30% of teen girls suffer from anxiety. And with easy access to technology can come cyber bullying. Nearly half of American teens say they themselves have been victims. Why didn't you say this to me when I was alive? Reporter: Teen pressure is a topic on display earlier this year with the controversial Netflix series "13 reasons why." All of this cyber bullying creates an environment where our kids need to develop resilience and develop it early. And the truth is, that is not the default setting for young people. Reporter: As the girls wait -- We're going to get you guys seated. Reporter: Their moms anxious to know what their daughters will reveal when they're not in the room. She's going to be so mad to know I'm still here. She's going to be in shock. How many of you would say stress is a big problem in your lives? What about social media? How big of a part of your lives is social media? I love it. Very big. Yeah. Do any of you ever question your body because of what you see on social media? Yeah. Yeah. Focus on not eating past 7:00, and drinking water. I follow people like Kendall ask kylie Jenner, they have this time measure body image that everybody is expecting from this generation. I have a lot of self-confidence, I don't hate my body. But I feel there's room for improvement all the time. There's no question that social media has a lot of positives. But the problem is we're measuring our self-worth by how many people like what we're posting. There was a time where if someone insulted us growing up it was to our face. Now the hurtful commentary lives online. Do any of you feel criticized and hurt by things said on social media? Yes. Yes. Yes. What kinds of things might somebody say that's mean? They can talk about things that you post, things that you wear, things that you say. I've seen a lot of bullying happen on Snapchat, to be exact, with some of my friends, some of the people calling them fat, even me. Talking about body image. Reporter: The honesty about their insecurities tough for Kayla's mom, who's about to share her experience with the group. A lot of my friends think I'm anorexic because I'm skinny for my age. It's tough but you've got to have thick skin. I used to get bullied because I had a uni brow, I wasn't the skinniest girl. What about relationships, dating and guys? I'm an avid '80s movie fan. And I wish that things could be the way that they were in the '80s movies. ??? All my instincts ??? Reporter: Gone are the days of John Cusack outside your window in "Say anything." Replaced by texting and Snapchat. Emojis in place of emotion. What is it that they had in the '80s that you don't see so much now? Having to actually make effort. And now I think that with things like sending a message, people say things that they don't mean, things get lost in translation. You want people to talk more. Yeah. Yeah. Usually people just like to face time and text. You don't know what someone fully says or means. Our young people speak in emoji and shorthand. And the fact is relationships require nuanced, thoughtful, intimate conversations. And social media doesn't provide for that. What celebrities do you compare yourselves to, do you look up to? Kardashians. Oh my gosh, did you have to say that? Kendall Jenner specifically. She's like all natural compared to the others. I feel like she's so perfect to be all natural like that. She's so beautiful. My biggest influence is Ariana grande. She has such a good voice. I find she is someone to look up to. If your moms were here, what would you want them to know about your world? One thing I would like to say to my mom, like in general, is that I may not show it all the time but I do appreciate her. I love her so much. Yeah. As far as self-confidence, being really my best friend. Why don't we talk to your moms now. Because your moms are here. Hi, mom. Reporter: The girls stunned by our surprise. What surprised you most about anything you heard from your daughter? These girls are gorgeous. On top of their game. And they're full of anxiety. Do you worry she's putting a lot of pressure on herself? Sometimes I do, because I keep telling her, you don't have to be perfect. And she tries very, very hard. You know, with the makeup, hours of makeup. I'm like, what happened to just the foundation and powder and walk out the door? She's very emotional, she lets things get to her easily. But she definitely has grown a lot. She's definitely not the shy girl, quiet, reserved girl she used to be. Do you worry about that social media impact? I do. One, because Kayla's brown. She was on the bus. It was kind of like, why don't you go home, you arabic, you don't belong here. Then it went on social media. Reporter: Moms getting a rare glimpse inside the minds of their teen daughters. Now perhaps more important than ever. For "Nightline," I'm Deborah Roberts in New York. Our thanks to Deborah Roberts. Tune into "Gma" tomorrow for another behind the glass presentation with fathers and sons.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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