Impact of Social Media

Impact of Social Media
The image above shows the data on how the rates of social media usage can affect teens. It shows statistics based on age and gender.

Teenagers use social media at all times; it can be helpful and/or harmful. On social media, we encounter many different things, anything from helpful information or motivational speeches/quotes to the complete opposite. Unfortunately, more than half of teens (59%) in the U.S. get bullied or harassed online. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry discussed that 90% of teens use social media from the ages of 13-17 and this can have both positive and negative effects. 

Positive effects on teens

Social media can have a positive effect on you. It can help you discover new things, talk with new people, find new interests, offer or seek support, etc. There are many people on social media who are willing to become friends with you or help you out on anything that you need. There are definitely many positives to social media.

Here is what students had to say about their positive use of social media:

“Social media has helped to expose me to a wider portion of the world and the ways people live and interact.”

“Social media has given me outlets to see other creators’ works and helped me improve my art work drastically. It is time consuming with scrolling but hasn’t negatively impacted my life too much.”

“Social media has made it easier to talk to friends.”

“Meeting people online and realizing they are older than me or not good at all is kinda shocking and negatively impacting. However, though I don’t use many socials, I still meet and make good friends sometimes, plus I use it for resources and other interesting things that I do.”

Negative affect on teens

While social media can be good, it can be bad for us as well. Social media can open you to seeing things that aren’t appropriate or that can mentally destroy you. You have to be mindful that if you use social media, you can encounter bullying, unrealistic views of other peoples’ lives, insecurity, theft, sleep disruption, and much more.

EPHS students explain how they have been negatively impacted by social media:

“It has negatively changed the way I act and feel.”

“Social media has had a mix of positive and negative impacts on my life. It has influenced my way of living. Now I am so trusting of certain posts.”

“Since I started using social media, I have been more attached to my phone. I spend more time on my phone and it has hurt my sleep schedule.”

“Social Media has made me depend on fast, short content and now I sometimes struggle to focus in class.”

Does social media impact teenagers’ mental health?

Yes, it does. According to the University of Utah, teens who use social media are three times more likely to suffer from depression and insecurity. Social media is an open world to anyone using it. Anyone can post or comment on anything on social media. There are many “trends” out there that are harmful. Some of these are mentally harming and some are physically harming.

How is social media affecting your life?

Social media is addictive in some ways. The way you can get addicted to social media is by simply watching or interacting with posts that you like and interest you. If these videos or pictures keep popping up, you slowly start to sink in and you won’t even realize how long you have been online. I think of it as a hole that you can’t really get out of. 

Teenagers believe that social media has played a big part in their lives. I can see how it has positively and negatively been a part of our lives. Social media can lead to happiness, lifelong friendships, information, communication with people such as your friends and family, and support from others. There are other teenagers, however, who don’t have such a good experience with it. Social media can also lead to depression, anxiety, cyber-bullying, and seeing inappropriate content. 

How many students at EPHS use social media?

Elmwood Park High School students took a survey regarding their social media use, when they started using social media, and how it has affected their living. 

85% of students said they use social media often and 15% of students said they use social media sometimes. 38.5% of students said that they started using social media at the age of 10-13 years old.

Everyone has different opinions on and experiences with social media. 

Always be thoughtful of what you say or do on social media. You may not realize it in the moment, but what you say/do can be harmful to others. 

If you are going through anything painful, please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone trustworthy; they will always be there to listen to you and understand you when you most need it.

Works Cited

  • Anderson, Monica. “Teens Social Media Habits And Experiences” Pew Research Center (    November 28, 2o18.
  • Health: University of Utah “The impact of social media on teens’ mental health” (     January, 20, 2023.
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