How Badly is Social Media Corrupting Our Generation?

Liv Hawkins, Staff Writer

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Social media is a great new way to connect people. You can discover someone who has the same things in common with you even though they live across the world. People can post whatever they want to express themselves. It’s a new form of art. But anytime someone posts their art, there are critics who have to comment on its worth. Everyone is art and everyone deserves love and kindness, and with social media, it’s hard for this to happen consistently. The headspace of “If I post this will I be cool?” and “If I don’t get 300 likes I’m deleting it,” show the ways that excessive social media dependence can influence how we think about ourselves.

 

Thoughts like these should not be in young, growing boys’ and girls’ heads. These thoughts completely mess up how we find ourselves and become confident in our own skin. In high school, it’s hard enough going in front of all those people and getting judged, only to leave school and still continue to get judged through social media. I’m 100 percent guilty of going on VSCO or Instagram and seeing all the “perfect” bikini body girls and feeling self-conscious about myself. It’s not healthy for anyone to feel bad about the way they look, especially at such a young age.

 

Brandon Bird heads the Yearbook program at Erie High School so I wanted to find out his opinion on the topic.

 

Bird’s thoughts on social media were that “the fundamental fabric of our society lies in our free speech… it is good in the way that it makes us all interconnected.”

I agree with Bird’s view on social media. We cannot have a country with restrictions regarding speech after building America off of our right to say whatever we want. Social media is still semi-new, and with anything new, there’s going to be some hype, hate, and love. With anything new, there is going to be critics, and there’s no way around that. I knew what I believed as a student when it comes to social media, but I wanted to know what my peers thought.

 

One student said, “It’s really a debate, but I think it’s okay if it’s used right.”

 

I definitely agree with this statement. There have been countless debates about social media and the good and bad that comes with it. No matter if it is used right or wrong, people will never see eye to eye.

 

There’s lots of evidence to back up that some causes of depression are from social media. A study by the Journal of Depression and Anxiety was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which discovered a link between social media and depression. The average person during this study went on social media 30 times per week for over an hour. The participants who used social media the most were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression. This is a real issue caused by addiction. Social media can be an incredible resource to connect people from different parts of the world. That is, until it becomes something that hurts teenagers. About 20 percent of teenagers suffer from depression before they become adults, according to Center for Discovery. This is one of the major negative effects of social media.