Sophia Bullard

Almost everyone these days has some sort of social media, their friends do, or at least they’re aware of it. Social media can be helpful and fun to use, but with that comes a lot of negativites. Personally, I don’t use social media as much compared to other kids my age. But even though I don’t use it, I still get exposed to things I shouldn’t be seeing or hearing. 

There are many positives social media gives us. It lets us see what friends are up to, spread info about fundraisers, we can see what the weather is like that day, how sports are going. It can be fun, if you use it right. But it still can be used for the wrong reasons. 

Social media is gradually becoming a bigger, and much more dangerously advanced platform for people to harass and even spread rumors and lies about others. Relationships between families and friends can easily be torn apart because of it. 

I met a good amount of people over the years on social media. I rekindled an old friendship with my friend that moved away over snapchat. I can also get a hold of people quicker and easier because of it. For example, if I need to ask someone something or interview them for my journalism class, I can more than likely reach out to them over some sort of social network or platform if I do not have their number or know where they are to talk to them in person.

I also find things I may or may not want to find though. The other day, my mom and I were talking about something she saw on Facebook. A kid was being bullied and the mom was livid, but instead of trying to solve the problem, she went straight to social media and told her followers about what happened to her child. I know that if my mom did that to me, I wouldn’t be too happy with her. 

Unfortunately, everyone has done this at some point. They had a problem or something happened, and they went right to their phones to try to get “clout” or views. Bailey Parnell talks about the effects social media has on our brains in a TedTalk. Parnell is a public speaker, entrepreneur, media personality, and the Founder and CEO of SkillsCamp Soft Skills Training where she teaches people about social media’s impact on mental health. She talks about what colleges and other professionals have found on the effects; “The center for collegiate mental health found that the top three diagnoses on University campuses are anxiety, depression and stress. Numerous studies have linked this high social media use with these high levels of anxiety and depression,” she said. She goes on to explain how active everyone is on social media. In fact, about 90% of 18-29 year olds are on social media and spend an average of 2 hours a day just scrolling.

You’re probably reading this article on a social platform right now. How often do you use your socials? You probably don’t even sleep half of the hours you spend on your phone. Do you ever catch yourself comparing other people to you? Do you care that your friends, children, siblings, even you are being mentally affected by it, without even knowing? 

With every like you recieve on social media, you experience a feeling of euphoria. This feeling is fueled by dopamine. It’s a feel-good chemical that has the same effect as receiving a reward, an award or winning something to our brains. That feeling can be addictive, which causes you to continue checking your likes, notifications, views, etc. 

Next time you go on a social media site, think about the effects it has on you that you may not even realize. Try to limit yourself; don’t spend unhealthy amounts of time on unnecessary apps you probably don’t even need. Instead, read a book, spend time with family or friends, do schoolwork, and spend time with yourself.

Until next time, friends!