Social media’s varying effects on teens

Antonino Garcia, Distributive Reporter

Social media is considered a controversial topic now because of the negative outcomes it can produce. These include depression, suicide and dependence on it. Adolescents continue to rely on their cell phones throughout their days, with much of their time spent on social media. This worries parents and has them thinking about the effects it has on their children.

Photo by Antonio Garcia
Freshman Adrianna Garcia using Instagram, a popular social media app. These apps are most likely to be used by adolescents.

Similar trends exist across the country and social media is not an exception. Use of social media is most prevalent in middle schools and high schools, continuing into adulthood. It has been found that the average internet user spends upwards of two hours on social media every day. Much talk about the negative effects of social media has been heard, but not so much about the positive.

“I spend a lot of time [on social media], it doesn’t really affect me though. It’s just interesting and something to do,” junior Katlyn McGrath said.

Social media is used by many for entertainment. Apps including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube all serve as platforms to watch videos and other forms of entertainment. This even includes educational content.

“There is definitely a bad side of social media,” sophomore Zach Hunter said. “But if you stay away from it, it can be really fun and positive.”

A positive aspect of social media is that it can allow people to express ideas and messages. It allows one to share their voice and opinions. Several movements have occurred through the help of social media including Black Lives Matter, Marriage Equality and Refugees Welcome. This ability of having a voice a voice empowers people to share their stories and to create a community.

I spend a lot of time [on social media], it doesn’t really affect me though. It’s just interesting and something to do.”

— Katlyn McGrath

Social media has also had an effect on the job market, having created several jobs in the last decade. These include social media marketers, strategists, specialists, analysts, coordinators and more. Most companies now need these workers in order to promote their business and create a customer network.

An article by Adweek said, “While some have derided hashtag activism as ineffective, there is no denying the impact of social media in raising awareness of social issues.”

Although it is rare, another positive outcome social media can produce is fame of an individual or group. Several big-name musicians, politicians and others have been introduced and exposed to the public from social media. An example of this is the President of the United States, Donald Trump. One meme or video can become viral and instantly turn one into a world-famous internet star.

Social media and its effects can vary greatly, from causing death to causing wealth and fame. It is something that’s influence is becoming larger and larger in a technology-emerging world.