• June 14, 2021

As high school students, it is our nature to go along with what is considered “cool.” This change in culture is, of course, normal. However, one aspect of our generation that isn’t so normal is our need for social media.

The topic of social media has become popular when discussing the negatives it creates. These discussions have been around since the start of the social media. The biggest negative that I see among teenagers use of social media is that they allow social media to shape who they are. Personalities, styles and opinions that are socially accepted on media sites transfer to their viewers or followers.

Though these issues do not seem too awful, their effect on teens is anything but positive. Social media is the biggest problem among teens, and many teens don’t see it.

Being a high school student, I am able to see first hand the negative impact that social media has on students.

“Social media has a huge effect on young people’s body confidence and image, because it cannot be ignored,” said Philippa Roxby, health reporter for BBC News. In Roxby’s article on BBC she addresses the issues of social media many of teens don’t even recognize: the act of shaping ourselves to fit what we see on social media.

Many of us don’t believe in Roxby’s findings and are in denial of social media’s influence. Denial of social media’s power make us keep coming back for more. This fabric of networking makes us as  teenagers seek validation among our peers. The desire to be accepted in the social media realm pushes us to be somebody that we are not, simply to fit in.

“It affects them [teens] in both positive and negative ways,” said Adam Bateman, sophomore.

Some teenagers will not accept social media’s effect on them. We believe that social media is just a way to express ourselves, and that what we see on social media doesn’t affect the person we are. It is true that social media doesn’t change us completely as a person. We still will have our own morals and beliefs, but the way we act around our peers is morphed to meet the expectations created on social media.

“Personally, I think teenagers change to follow any popular twitter, or instagram, trend,” said Tyler Mae, sophomore.

Additional stress and pressure forced on teens makes social media similar to a job.

“For kids, the Internet is increasingly becoming a place that you can’t have fun, that you can’t socialize in the way you want to,” said Ana Homayoun in an article on Huffington Post. I believe that this statement is true and that social media is becoming less of a place for teens to interact with each other, and more of a place for teens to compete with each other.

Social media relevance among teenagers will stay around until something newer and better comes along. As for today, social media’s popularity is higher than ever and teens can’t keep their hands off it. Social media usage among ages 18-29 from the year 2005 to 2010 have gone up 70% said in a study by SEJ. Though this issue creates many problems among teens, it’s not going to change anytime soon. Once teens see how these trends influence their opinion and personality, then we will see a change in how social media is used. However, until then, social media will determine what is accepted and what is not.

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