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Social Media Article – Brooke Haviland


How Social Media Affects Us           

     Social Media. It can’t be that bad right? All you really do is take pictures and post them. Well… let me tell you the ups and downs of social media. Let’s get this clear, I’m not 100 percent saying social media is always going to be horrible, it’s just that you have to find the right environment on the platform, and follow people that make a positive impact on you instead of people who display a false reality. Let me elaborate. 

The Negative Side: the part of social media that chews you up and spits you out

     We all know that social media can negatively affect us: distracting us, interrupting sleep schedules, and exposing us to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other’s lives, and peer pressure. 

     The more time spent on social media increases the chances of cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to pictures, videos, and statements that might not be appropriate for younger viewers. For instance, just imagine yourself scrolling through Instagram and seeing your friends hanging out without you. This causes FOMO, “fear of missing out”.


News flash: Social media is created to be addicting and to make money. 

     The more users on a platform means more money for the company, so the longer you are there, the more money in their pockets. And unfortunately, they prioritize loot over your anxiety and mental health. 

     It becomes addicting because when you’re doing homework or just solving a simple problem, you try to do it as well as you can. Once you complete the problem your brain releases dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter, it allows us to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. Do something good, the brain releases dopamine. Our brain sees this as a reward system. We are seeking satisfaction by the actions we are doing. For example, when seeing a post on TikTok or Instagram, and once you see all those likes and comments your brain releases dopamine and you think of it as a reward and satisfaction. 

     A huge problem teens face in 2022 is self-image issues. By joining a platform it allows people to see pictures of models, and unrealistic lifestyles. Constantly yearning  for the approval of others, and comparing ourselves to these edited and unpractical images. But social media isn’t the only environment that spreads this negativity, it’s everywhere. We can’t stop the negativity in the media, but we can always choose to stay away from it. Only follow friends that make a positive impact on you, block the negatives, and if you still can’t get away from toxic people online, delete the app and maybe make a goal for yourself. Maybe it’s trying not to judge others, or trying not to compare yourself.   

The Positive Side:  it enlightens us constantly with new information

     With all of the negative sides there are on social media, it can be positive too! Using social media allows us to stay connected with family and friends. We can call, text, facetime, and email. Imagine if we didn’t have this, we would still be writing those old fashioned letters right? And with social media we have access to hundreds of thousands tips, tricks, and just basic information at the click of a button. Need to know how to tie a tie, well there’s tons of tutorials waiting for you. Need a job? Look online for a bit and you’ll be surprised at how many companies’ advertisements are going around. 

     Social media can also spread awareness. By having a platform you can share your voice, stories, perspectives, and events going on around in the world. By spreading awareness, it helps build the public around the issue to stop the problem, and brings us closer together by sharing our opinions with each other and the whole social platform. 

     Finally, social media can affect our mental health. Being socially connected to people online can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression,  it can also bring comfort and joy. If you’re having a bad day, scroll through TikTok and maybe you’ll find a video that cheers you up. But do it mindfully and purposefully… and only for a few minutes

     It’s important to find the right social media environment, block or unfollow people who bring any negativity in your life, and don’t believe everything you see on social media. Just remember social media isn’t always good, but… it isn’t always bad.

If you want some time away from social media, or if you just want a healthier lifestyle with the different platforms here are some tips:

  • Set time limits on your phone and stick to them
  • Delete some apps
  • Turn on Do Not Disturb 
  • Leave your phone aside
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