Putting too much stock into the lives of others as presented in social media can be damaging to your psyche. (Anastasia Vasilakis / For The Times)
Horace Greeley High School

Opinion: Social media is unhealthy for young people

With the Industrial Revolution, came a wave of new technologies and advances that brought innovations that changed the world such as cars, aviation, phones and much more. However, possibly one of the most influential creations was the internet.

Online services brought a wide variety of new possibilities, such as long-distance communication, an infinite database of knowledge and different sources of entertainment.

But one application that has intrigued many people, like the United States of America’s president, is social media.

Social media enabled people to be able to share pictures, chat, or just share what happens in their lives. In recent years, various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have become increasingly popular, especially amongst teens.

Since students today have been born with access to technologies such as smartphones and laptops, pretty much everywhere they can be seen using social media whether it be in school, the public, or anywhere else.

This trend has become emphasized by famous figures in every aspect of life. Entertainers such as Jimmy Kimmel with his mean tweets series, athletes, such as Kevin Durant, and even political figures, such as President Donald Trump, using Twitter to gain traction online.

This has influenced students to follow in their footsteps, possibly to create a sense of belonging. 

Many could argue that social media benefits the kids, by allowing them to connect to others, help plan out their days, entertainment or just get information about recent news or trends.

However, with the amount of time spent on social media, these students could easily be sucked in and develop an over-reliance on social media.

According to Maggie Fox and Erika Howards from the West Virginia Education Association, American teens spend an average of 9 hours a day with digital technology. This is an astounding number as the majority of the day is spent at school and sleeping, leaving the rest of their free time for electronics.

According to an article by Caroline Miller, teenagers and young adults who tend to spend their time on platforms like Instagram and Facebook showed a 13% to 66% increase of reported depression.

Although it was not seen to be a direct causation, there is definitely a correlation between the two. 

Whether you like social media or not, there’s one thing that we know for sure: it’s not disappearing. We can embrace this change, study it and promote healthy uses or let it be the demise of our young generations.