Tea W/ C: Social Media is Ruining Society


Mya Decker

Social media can be our greatest tool or our biggest enemy.

As much as people may not want to admit it, social media is a terrible thing. It tears people down and strangers can contact young people on it. Overall, social media is changing society for the worst.

In very few ways, such as ways to interact with friends, social media can be positive, but more so they are having very negative effects on society.

It’s no doubt that depression has been linked to social media, which is one of the reasons why social media has taken a toll on society. Around 2011, the rate of depression went up between boys, but even more so girls. Non-fatal self-harm rates have also gone up for girls since 2009. Jonathan Haidt, an American social psychologist, believes that if you look at all of the considered factors, especially the timing, you can’t deny that social media has a role to play. Facebook came out in 2006, which at the time not many teenagers used. Same with the Iphone which first launched in 2007, but because of the prices not many teens had one. By 2010-11, about half of American teenagers have a smartphone, with access to social media in middle school. Instagram launched in 2010 and Snapchat launched in 2011, which are two of the more popular social medias among this generation. Haidt believes this is the main cause because social media does not affect girls like it does boys. When girls bully others, it is to tear down another person’s social relationships.

Instagram and Youtube have become dominant social media outlets. These are also two that can show people’s vulnerability the most. From pictures of people with body shaming comments to a video upload of a girl telling her story that led to her suicide, people are showing a side of themselves that can be manipulated. Because of this vulnerability, strangers can easily contact a younger person, lie about who they are, and potentially start a dangerous relationship. This is called catfishing which is a serious problem because it can lead to dangerous situations.   

An unknown person said “Social media has created jealous behavior over illusions….Some of you are envious of things, relationships and lifestyles that don’t even exist.” And I believe this to be so accurate because people can be who they want on social media and they can have their “glamorous” lifestyle, but you never know what is going on behind the camera. This is something Youtubers especially talk about struggling with, the stress of having a seemingly great life when in reality things can be rough. However, the “viewers” only see the life they want, but can’t have.  

Social media, as it has been a way for people to become comfortable in their own skin and for some people to find work, influencers, it has also very obviously made society a place where we it is in some ways acceptable for for people to hide behind a screen and say what they want and pretend to be who they want. Bullying is not okay and catfishing is illegal.