The Damages of Social Media

Feature+Photo+by%3A+Madison+Moon+-+A+student%27s+phone+displays+their+social+media+folder%2C+including+Instagram+and+Snapchat.+People+are+constantly+using+social+media+to+the+point+where+they+don%27t+realize+the+psychological+damage+they+go+through.

Feature Photo by: Madison Moon - A student's phone displays their social media folder, including Instagram and Snapchat. People are constantly using social media to the point where they don't realize the psychological damage they go through.

Madison Moon, Opinion Reporter

Have you ever considered the physiological damages that the internet causes in teens? Studies show that the average teen spends 9 hours a day on social media. It has become clear to me that the internet is more toxic than I thought, and most times we don’t even realize how much we are actually hurting ourselves. 

Social media has caused people to develop body image issues, or enhance their already existing insecurities. This has caused eating disorders, dieting, and immoderate exercise. Young women especially feel pressured to meet “Instagram body” expectations. It is common for appearance enhancing products and cosmetic surgeries to be advertised and “suggested” by celebrities and internet influencers. This makes women feel obligated to change their face and body image; ranging from lip injections, breast and butt implants, and so on. 

“100%. Social media has made me stress about appearance,” stated Rachel Etter, a junior at Rangeview High School.

A screenshot of one of Kylie Jenner’s photo on Instagram. Like many other celebrities and social media influencers, they always try to show the perfect versions of themselves.

Teens often venture to their phone when they’re experiencing emotional problems, in attempt to ‘distract’ themselves from their feelings. 54% of teens state they spend too much time on their phones and 41% say they spend an unhealthy amount of time on social media. Teenagers spend more time with their phones than they do with family and friends; this causes the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Studies show that the increase of social media use in the last year, has also resulted in an increase of depression symptoms in teens. 

Cyber bullying has also become a serious issue many teens face; roughly 37% of teens, ranging from 12-17, have experienced cyberbullying. It is simple to criticize and harass people on social media, and having zero to no consequences for it. Teenagers that experience cyberbullying are known to develop depression, anxiety, fear, and insecurities. Teenagers often feel overwhelmed with the situation, in which creates the feeling of vulnerability. It is no secret that cyberbullying creates low self esteem, making people feel worthless and not good enough for themselves or for those around them. 

It is very important to understand the toxic characteristics and habits that we develop unknowingly while using social media. While social media can be beneficial, a place to self express, and often used for small businesses, we need to be cautious of the destruction. 

So here is some advice on how to scroll through social media confidently from Rangeview students:

  • “I just look at the best I can be instead of thriving off of others riches and success,”  Junior Alex Easton said. “I look at where I am at, where I wanna be, and where I am going.”
  • “First of all, it is a matter of being comfortable with who you are or where you’re at. Being comfortable in your own body and accepting your own body is really a key to being happier in life.” said senior Ellington Smith.
  • “People are either gonna accept you or not accept you,” said junior Cole Heiken. “No matter what there is no point in trying to be someone on social media.” 
  • “I mean if you have self love you won’t care what anyone thinks of you.” said senior Cayla Halime.
  • “I am not gonna get out of my skin so I might as well be comfortable with it, and a lot of celebrities photoshop and don’t show their flaws.” sophomore Myracle Hall said.

  It is important to know the damages caused by social media, and ways to make it a healthier concept. According to Rangeview students, self love and acceptance is key to enjoying time spent on the internet. Students should spend less time on social media, and understand the filters, photoshop, and cosmetic surgery that goes into Instagram’s “expectations”.