Social media causes student stress



PHOTO: GWEN ROGOZINSKI Junior Kayla Surline uses her phone. “I use social media almost all day,” said junior Jolie Smith, “Most people use it a lot.”

On October 26, a hearing was held by the U.S. Senate with YouTube, Tik Tok and Snapchat. This action was due to the negative effects that social media has on young people. 

Popular influencers and celebrities frequently use social media to showcase the more extravagant parts of their lifestyles to thousands, or even millions, of strangers online. 

Many of the strangers that see this are teenagers. 

Surveys by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Society indicate that 90% of kids between 13 and 17 have used social media. 

“There are people who say their lives are all good and it’s not true,” senior Nickole Mons said, “There’s gonna be bad things and it makes people feel bad about themselves.” 

The pictures posted on sites like Instagram, which, according to Pew Research, is used by 72% of teenagers, can be easily edited to improve a person’s appearance which can then negatively impact the people that see them.

This posting of edited pictures can further enforce the societal view that people, especially young girls, have to look perfect at all times which causes issues with self esteem and feelings of inadequacy. 

“A lot of people facetune their bodies and people think they should look like that but it’s not even real,” junior Jolie Smith said. 

There have always been celebrities and models that dominated the media, but it was easy to turn off the tv or throw away the magazine to shut them out. 

Now, phones and social media have become an essential part of most people’s daily lives and it’s harder for people to turn away. They are something that people grow up with which isn’t something older generations had to deal with. 

This could be one of the reasons why kids today seem to have so many more mental health problems than the generations that came before. 

“A lot of people have social issues now and anxiety when they go out and talk to people,” freshman Clare Beutler said. 

Anxiety in teenagers rose by 20% between 2007 and 2012 according to an article published by the Healthy Children organization.

Because it’s so easy to access, social media is an easy thing for people to become addicted to. 

It is estimated by the addiction center that 5-10% of Americans are addicted to social media.

Social media can also negatively affect the physical health of students. According to Tech Prevue, the main reason for many teenagers sleep deprivation is social media. 

Because it can be accessed so easily, social media is something young children have the ability to use without any supervision.

“Kids are experiencing more adult things at a young age,” Smith said. 

Because pretty much anything goes on the internet, these “adult things” could be anything from politics to extreme violence that could traumatize young minds and force them to grow up faster.

The parading of wealth and attractiveness is done most by the people with the most followers. 

The more followers someone has, the more money they are able to make and in return the more they have to show off. 

It’s a vicious cycle that lowers self esteem and raises the speed at which people feel they have to grow up.