Vansh Sahni and Ashton Vongxay / Staff reporters
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Discord, Tik Tok, YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter are social media platforms everyone used, especially teenagers. When social media was created, it was meant to connect people. Online platforms have transformed the way people interact, and not necessarily for the better. Teenagers are hyper-focused on online personas, and the dark side of cyberbullying has negatively impacted mental and physical health.
For teenagers, according to data the average time spent on social media is 7.5 hours. When asked, students in Gleneagle admitted to an average time spent on social media of 9 hours in total. The least amount of time spent was 3.5 hours, and the highest was 12 hours. A study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that the healthy amount of social media was 30 minutes a day. The overuse by students has impacted them.
Many Talons say that without social media platforms, it would not be who they are. The base of their entire identities is around online presence. Some students believe that they would be more productive if they didn’t have any social media. However, other people say that they would not be able to do anything for the whole day without it.
Social media tends to affect teenagers the most. It has shown that many teenagers spent more time on social media than outside. Not going outside, little interaction face to face, and not being productive has been caused by excess use of social media. This has impacted the mental health of many people. Social media can also cause behavioral changes, people might be meaner than a person that doesn’t use social media due to anonymity.
One student of Gleneagle included that they were spending a big chunk of their time which changed them as a person than they were before.
Many teenagers of this generation go through anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and isolation. Social media can affect someone mentally and physically, as well, as people try to conform to unrealistic body image. There are also things on social media that take place which cause depression, such as cyberbullying.
It is not all bad, though. Social media has allowed people to connect with family and friends from all over the world. During the lockdowns, it allowed students to still feel close to others and not be so isolated. It also allows teens to find like-minded people and learn more about things that interest them. Social media can also be very entertaining; while excessive use isn’t great, it was beneficial passing the time while they were stuck at home during covid.
Talons believe that social media has affected them positively and negatively. The positives that are out there are getting to talk to people and feeling closer to them. Whereas negatively social media has made them feel insecure or not enough. They have spent a lot of time on it, leading to a lack of productivity. To help talons cope with the online world, campaigns to educate about the effects of screen time, as well as recognizing signs of anxiety and depression, could help them learn to regulate their time better.
Social media has both pros and cons. It should be used in a controlled amount in order to gain the benefits of social media.