For many people, especially teenagers, social media is a very big part of their daily lives. Picturing a day without social media seems virtually impossible for many. Nowadays, there are over ten main social media platforms that many people use everyday. The most popular ones include Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tik Tok and Youtube and they have been found to be extremely addicting. All of these platforms were created to help people and bring people together. However, as time goes on, the inverse relationship between social media increase in prevalence and declining mental health of many has become exceedingly evident. The initial positives of the aforementioned apps are beginning to fade away while the negatives are simultaneously taking over. Looking at the world around us makes me question, did all these platforms really intend to advance our society, or just create countless issues for humans?
One of the main issues seen with social media is the decline in human interaction. People often choose to call each other over FaceTime instead of meeting up in person. Yes, during a time like this where a global pandemic has taken over, FaceTime has been essential to catch up with our friends and family. But, before all of this the loss of human interaction became clear. More than ever, teens are feeling lonely. This may seem confusing since we have a way to be in contact with our friends 24/7. The problem is, instead of interacting in person, people are working harder to build relationships through social media. People think that the more friends you have over social media may make you happier, but in reality this is not true. The loss of in person friendships is causing our generation to rely on social media for entertainment. This often creates the feelings of loneliness.
Social media has also added a flaw in many of our personalities. Jealousy has become
a huge issue people face when they open up these apps. Most people can agree that checking Instagram and seeing people living their best lives and on luxury vacations can cause feelings of jealousy. I feel as though this issue has created such a toxic environment among not only teens, but all social media users. The initial idea of sharing our best moments and memories turned into a competition to whose life is the best. This idea of competing against when another has been brought into real life. I feel that a lot of teenagers, especially nowadays, are always thinking about how they can look “cool”. People who deal with F.O.M.O. (fear our missing out) are especially hurt by this. It can cause feelings of anxiety and cause you to stay on social media even longer. When people feel this way, they tend to pick up their phone even quicker, to be updated on everything they are missing out on. Which makes them feel even worse. In reality, social media can be very fabriced, only showing the highlights, but when you are sitting in your bed, feeling down and seeing all the celebrities glamorous posts one will become upset.
One of the worst things to come out of social media is the toxic environment around body image and looks. Waking up to a feed of supermodels and photoshop can be very unsettling. More than ever, people feel the need to fit a certain body type, even though it can be very unrealistic. We are seeing advances in companies advertising to be more real, but the ideal looks will never go away. Social media has overall caused a lack of confidence in people. It creates the feeling of never being good enough.
These platforms have not only crushed people’s confidence, but also created a serious risk to mental health. The addiction we, as a generation, have to our phones has created a serious increase in poor mental health. We are more distracted, easily triggered, and feel isolated at times. On top of all this, cyberbullying has become very prevalent among young people. Instead of the school issues we used to see, kids are getting phones earlier and earlier. Causing them to, in certain ways, grow up faster. While they should be dealing with issues face to face, kids tend to take it out on each other online. Cyberbullying is considered the most harmful way of bullying.
With all of these issues, it appears to be quite clear that social media is ruining our society.
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