The Dangers of Social Media

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Teen on social media Credit: safari

Chloe Miles, Reporter

Anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia. All of these things seen amongst young teens can be directly connected to one culprit, social media. In a recent study, 90% of teens reported that they have social media, but some people may not know all of the negative effects it can have on the growing minds of adolescents. 

In 2019, it was reported that most people diagnosed with depression were between the ages of 12 and 25. This illness can oftentimes be connected to social media use because the average ages of depression also correlate with the ages that are most on social networking platforms. Social media can cause adolescents to be constantly unfocused and easily distracted. They have a hard time staying focused because they feel the need to check every notification, like, and follow. Likes, follows and notifications have recently become an obsession that teens feel competitive over. With the anxiety that creates, teens often have trouble sleeping and concentrating, leading them to feel more depressed and tired during school, sports, and social events. 

Body dysmorphic disorder is another issue that can be worsened by the use of social media. This disorder causes people to experience severe anxiety and disoriented views on their own bodies. The anxiety that results from this can often be severe. It can cause teens to feel so much worry over their appearance that they avoid mirrors, large social gatherings, and any situation where their pictures may be taken. In several cases, social media can be the cause of body dysmorphia, because teens begin feeling that if they don’t look like social media influencers and people they see in pictures, they are not good enough. While on social media, teens are often comparing themselves to others that they see in posts and updates. That comparison can be very harmful for a developing teen’s mindset, for those pictures could be edited and manipulated creating an unachievable look. Most teens with body dysmorphia feel put down when seeing pictures of other people posted, because it causes them to look at themselves with harsher judgment. 

These issues due to social media occur everywhere, including in our own community. Guidance counselor, Mr. Tyree, expressed his own feelings on behalf of adolescents and social media. Tyree said, “teens sometimes get so consumed with their phones and social media, that they become unaware of what’s going on around them.” Freshman, Morgan Frick, stated “social media can sometimes make me feel unhappy with my appearance, but I just have to remember that everyone is different in their own ways.”