Effects Social Media has on Teens | Teen Ink

Effects Social Media has on Teens

January 8, 2020
By Anonymous

Effects Social Media has on Teens

The internet, and more importantly social media, has taken over teenagers lives. Kartchner says, “Teenagers are reporting higher levels of social pressure than ever before”(Kartchner 2). Social media is something that most teenagers participate in their everyday lives, and most of the users do not even know how it is affecting them right now and how it will in the future. Social media is impacting people's lives by acting like drug, causes depression, anxiety, as well as other mental disorders, and  creates cyberbullying. 

Studies show spikes of social pressure started increasing “the year smartphones and social media became the norm of our lives”(Kartchner 2). When social media first became popular in the early 2000’s, no one knew how addictive they would be. Platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Youtube started to come out. Kartchner states, “Smartphones and social media are our generations’ cigarettes”(Kartchner 3). Nobody knew the effects of social media and how dangerous it is, just like how people didn’t know how dangerous cigarettes were for them when they first came out. Social media acts as a drug on people because of how it can make them feel. For some people, studies have shown that social media can be more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes(McDaniels 2). 

Although social media is a good was to communicate among your friends and family, Rings  writes, “According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2012, an estimated 2.2 million adolescents, or 9.1% of the U.S. teen population (ages 12 to 17), had at least one major depressive episode in the past year”(Ring 1). These numbers have only risen since then. A survey of 10,000 teens proved that every 1 in 3 showed a sign of an anxiety disorder(Ring1). Teenagers that make their whole life about social media get too drawn into it, and they let others on the platforms  control how teens feel about them. Social media influencers are more prone to these disorders because they are constantly on social media and will very rarely get a break since it is their job. When American University did research about social media, they found “a link between social media use and negative body image, which can lead to an eating disorder”(McDaniels 2). I’ve seen this in my own school, girls thinking they need to diet or they will start eating only 1-2 meals a day trying to lose body fat that is seen to be not liked/not perceived as “attractive” on social media. 

Not only is it acting as a drug among teenagers, it has also created a new and the most common form of bullying. Ring explained, “in a recent study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, 23% of teens report they are or have been the target of cyberbullying. Another 15% admitted to bullying someone else online”(Ring 1). Teenagers use social media as a mask to bully others, also thinking they will be able to get away with it under an anonymous username. These days teenagers are also less likely to report when they are getting bullied. Teenagers who have been cyberbullied are reported to be twice likely to attempt suicide compared to teenagers who have not been cyberbullied(Ring 2). Cyberbullying has already pushed teenagers to a point where they feel that taking their own lives would take away all their pain. Netflix came out with their own show called “13 Reasons Why”, and it was about a girl who was in high school getting cyberbullied and ended up taking her own life. This has become too popular of a trend among teenagers. Recent stories about cyberbullying among teenagers deals with “kids running away, hurting others and even taking their own lives, points to a trend with often tragic results”(Ring 1). Cyberbullying is not taken serious enough around the world. If we don’t start to prevent this, there will be more tragic events happening close to everyday. 

In conclusion, social media has taken over teenagers lives. Influencing their thoughts, emotions, and actions so now teenagers don’t know how to express themselves. Social media is impacting people's lives by acting like drug, causing depression, anxiety, as well as other mental disorders, and creating more cyberbullying. As long as we start to take action now by reducing our social media use and how we choose to use it, social media could be a fun and safe environment to interact in. 





Works Cited

Kartchner, Collin. "Social Media--our Great Public Health Crisis." Deseret News, 29 May 2018. sirsissuesresearcher, explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2264345648?accountid=14934.

McDaniels, Andrea K. "Does use of Social Media Affect Emotional Wellbeing of Teens?" Daily Gleaner, 14 Jun 2017. sirsissuesresearcher, explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2265870496?accountid=14934.

Ring, Melinda. "Teen Depression and how Social Media can Help Or Hurt." CNN Wire Service, 05 Aug 2015. sirsissuesresearcher, explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2265390688?accountid=14934.

The author's comments:

I am a high school student and this was my semester final project. We had to write a persuasive essay and take a strong side about it, then we needed to submit it to somewhere where it would get read/acknowledged. 

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