The Sad Truth Of Social Media

Taylor Lehman, Journalist

Social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Tik Tok are just a few sites that are “holy grails” to teenagers and young children. The ability to communicate with family, friends, and strangers across the world is an important factor in one’s life. Although, the passion within social networking argues the question how bad are the effects and addictions to young minds?

What is one thing most social media apps have in common?  Entertainment and likes.  Most kids aspire to become “famous” or “popular” within these social media apps however the consequences to strive for that level are much worse.  With current body social standards, females and males have begun to degrade themselves from head to toe as they believe they do not succeed the “idealistic” standard.  When their posts don’t receive their targeted likes or follows, their minds begin to overthink that they do not fit into these standards.  Children chronically compare their features to others instead of recognizing their own beautiful traits.  It has been statistically proven that there has been an increase in teen anxiety and depression revolving around social media.  Social media has also caused an increase in eating disorders as teenagers feel they need to replicate highly liked and photoshopped images to feel accepted by society.  Not only does social media represent a poor body image, it is addicting.  Roughly 54% of teens spend an average of 9 hours a day on their phones or computers; roughly 5-6 of those hours endlessly scrolling through Tik Tok, Instagram, or Snapshat.

Even with all the unfortunate negative effects there is still one major positive impact social media proves.  With COVID-19 placing practically the whole world on shut down, society felt isolated and unheard.  Losing all connection to daily socialization and the outside world, social media provided a platform for people to still connect with each other.  Sending and receiving funny and entertaining videos, Snapchatting old and new friends provided society a sense of comfort during an extremely hard and anxious time.

Although keeping close connection to family and friends and entertaining the mind is worthwhile and important, the impact from these apps on children’s brains is becoming far too negative.  Cutting down hours per week or per day can slowly decrease the issue quickly arising.  Sadly, no matter how many hours a person cuts down on their social media or even deleting all of the apps, these platforms will be a forever toxic environment.