Social Media's Toxicity Thru the Eyes of a 15 Year Old

Social Media’s Toxicity

In today’s society there are many different monsters that plague and deteriorate American culture, the most prominent being the over usage and toxicity of social media. Since smartphones, social media websites, and internet browsers were introduced, their popularity has risen, while the civility between persons on them has decreased. Many claim that the internet and social media gives people the most power and information they have ever had, but it is not worth the negatives that come with it. Social media is America’s monster because one’s mental health can be affected from excessive time spent on various platforms which can damage one’s mental health.

In American society, people, especially teens, spend hours a day on social media taking away from face to face interactions. During school, work, and at home, Americans are constantly on social media disconnected from the real world, leading them to neglect what is going on right in front of them. Many studies even show that social media can be addicting and may eventually be a diagnosable condition. The amount of hours per day spent on social media is mind boggling, according to the Washington Post, “The average teen spends almost 9 hours a day”(Tsukayama). The nine hours a day refers to messaging, facebook, youtube, snapchat, etc. This is almost a third of the day, meaning many teens are even spending more time on social media than they are sleeping. All the time spent on social media takes away from time with family and friends. This leads to a deterioration within relationships because people are not focused on the moment and people they are with, but rather their followers and likes. Social media is a monster in society due to the time that it consumes from people’s lives.

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In the world of social media, users have the ability to hide behind a “mask,” which leads to cyberbullying. Although face to face bullying is more common than cyberbullying, that does not make it any less prominent in society. Users can comment and post rude remarks about others anonymously with no consequences. Cyberbullying can be shown in many different ways: sending hurtful texts, posting insulting things about someone, spreading rumors about people online, creating a fake profile and taking advantage of someone with it, taking an embarrassing photo of someone, along with many others. According to The Organic, 43% of kids have been cyberbullied at some point online. Americans are always on their phones or computer which makes it near impossible to escape social media and the internet. According to The Organic 81% of teens believe that it is easier to cyberbully than to bully face to face without facing repercussions. Due to the high rate of teens that believe they can get away with cyberbullying, it makes it more and more common on social media. Many teens who are cyberbullied are affected very deeply from it because they feel like they cannot escape the abuse. CBS News reveals that boys aged 15 to 19 are experience a much higher suicide rate since social media was introduced. Social media causes depression and causes many to inflict harm upon themselves. Cyberbullying on social media makes it a monster in America’s society because of the harm that can be inflicted and the inability to fully escape it.

Social media can affect and damaged a user’s mental health in a negative way. Large sums of time spent on it can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. All of these factors can lead to suicide, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, but social media can also greatly affect someone’s short term mood. Along with that, websites such as facebook can cause someone to feel insecure and lower their self esteem because people constantly compare themselves to others. A study in 2014 found that facebook users reported lower moods after using the website for just 20 minutes, if used for a longer amount of time then it would lead to them feeling worse for a longer period of time. Social media is a monster because it causes people to feel bad about themselves or puts them in a bad mood simply by going on it. More serious long term effects such as depression and anxiety are caused by social media. A study performed on 1,000 people born from 1995 to 2010 found that 41% of them stated that social media made them feel anxious or depressed. People are regularly checking their likes and followers, and they allow that to determine their worth, which in turn makes users feel bad if they have less than friends and others. Social media allows people to connect and help people keep it touch but, it also negatively affects one’s mental health in multiple ways, making it a monster to society.

When used cautiously and in small increments of time social media can be a great thing by bringing people together, helping someone keep up to date, and allowing people to keep in touch. The overuse of social media reveals it’s much darker side, which has negative impacts on relationships and mental health. Social media platforms need to continue to attempt to make their websites and apps safer for people. If Americans limit their social media use than it may return to what it was before, a safe place for people to share with others.

Our guest blogger, Alex Bornstein, is a Sophomore at Ridgefield High School. To learn more about Inspiring Comfort please visit www.inspiringcomfort.com





https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/social-media-mental-health-negative-effects-depression-anxiety-addiction-memory-a8307196.html

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180118-how-much-is-too-much-time-on-social-media

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180104-is-social-media-bad-for-you-the-evidence-and-the-unknowns

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24023/3-ways-social-media-is-ruining-your-reallife-relationships.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/11/03/teens-spend-nearly-nine-hours-every-day-consuming-media/?utm_term=.9eaef32c9482

https://theorganicagency.com/blog/life-death-consequences-cyber-bullying/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/smartphones-cyberbullying-targeted-as-causes-of-skyrocketing-teen-suicide-rate/



Jill Bornstein