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The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

A society of screens

How social media has impacted social interactions
The average teenager in the U.S. spends more than four hours scrolling endlessly on social media each day.
Eliana Johnson
The average teenager in the U.S. spends more than four hours scrolling endlessly on social media each day.

Open your TikTok For You Page. What’s one of the first things that you see? One can imagine you’ll eventually come across a classic Subway Surfers video, complete with someone’s sob story on the other screen. It’s engaging, humorous and mildly informative. Now listen to that same story without the Subway Surfers video. Would you scroll past it? Would you even bother to listen to the story? Chances are, you probably wouldn’t. Society today needs extra entertainment to sit through even the most basic tasks such as watching a one-minute video. Why have we become this way? Is social media degrading our sense of social interaction?
Out of a survey of 11 students in the Junior/Senior High School, 100 percent of those who took the survey all agreed that social skills have declined significantly since the introduction of social media, more specifically, since COVID. One person, in particular, describes how their niece can’t even engage in family dinner without playing on her iPad. Other people have also claimed that when engaging in a conversation, people don’t hold eye contact, fidget, stumble over the words, or resort back to their phone when the conversation gets dull.
According to the Social Media Victims Center, when utilizing social media, there is more anonymity and an increase in threats of violence. Because society hides behind a screen, not only are our social skills negatively impacted, but there is a significant uptick in violence, bullying and other threatening online behaviors. Federal data shows that in the age range of 15-19, homicide cases have gone up 91 percent from 2014-2021. With access to all the information in the world such as where people live, their occupation, their family members and even their social security numbers. People’s lives are displayed like a Las Vegas billboard, screaming in all shades of color, “This is who I am! Come and find me!”
Although social media has lessened the communication gap, it has also diminished social skills and increased the frequency of crime. Instagram stories, Snapchats, TikTok videos and Facebook posts are muddling people’s senses of right and wrong. Long gone are the days of face-to-face communication without the fear of phones getting in the way of a heart-to-heart. Here now are the days of no eye contact, threats and an inability to hold a few-minute conversation.
Is this communication conundrum terrifying? Absolutely. Is it fixable? Even more so. Consider putting your phone away next time you’re eating dinner with your family. Have a conversation with the people who love you most. Make eye contact with them, engage in conversation and leave behind the likes and comments for now.

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About the Contributor
Eliana Johnson, Reporter
Eliana Johnson is a junior this year and this is her first year on Uncaged. In her spare time, Eliana enjoys reading, running and watching Broadway musicals. She’s also the varsity cross country captain and FFA’s reporter. Eliana has multiple team research papers published on Harvard’s academic database. In addition, she loves the color blue, all things nature and Taylor Swift. In the future, Eliana plans on getting her law degree from the University of Michigan or Baylor University to become a prosecutor.
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