Does Social Media Do More Harm Than Good?

Does Social Media Do More Harm Than Good?

Delaney Panigall, Senior Staff Writer

Social media is something that young adults use on a regular basis. It has become part of our everyday lives. For many, a life without cell phones and social media is impossible. Social networking has drastically changed the way people interact with each other. As it is becoming more advanced, it provides many benefits. However, social media also has many negative consequences such as poor social skills, cyberbullying, and unrealistic standards.

One con of social media is poor social skills. People would rather use a social network and text than have a face-to-face conversation. Senior Paige Reed says, “I prefer texting because it’s quicker and easier than a face-to-face conversation.” Phones and social media affect the way people maintain eye contact and posture. It also makes it harder for people to express emotion. When we rely on social media to talk to people, we forget how to interact with them in real life. All this texting can lead to poor grammar skills as well. Whether it is the use of slang or incorrect punctuation, the grammar skills of children are becoming worse. 

Another downside of social media is cyberbullying. Teens who spend excessive time on their phones and are addicted to social media are more likely to engage in cyberbullying. Bullies use the internet to anonymously message, or even threaten people. They are able to say bad things without anyone knowing who they are. Senior Paige Reed continues, “If it weren’t anonymous, cyberbullies would be too afraid to say anything.” They realize that they would get in trouble or get caught. Social media has transformed when, where, and how bullying takes place. 

One more consequence of social media is that it promotes poor and unrealistic body images. The more time people spend on social media, the more likely they are to develop eating disorders and body dysmorphia, sources state. When scrolling through social media, we only see specific body types, making us believe that we aren’t good enough if we are different. According to the New York Post, 30 minutes on a social media app can make women fixate negatively on their weight and appearance. With apps like Face Tune and Photoshop, it becomes difficult to tell what is real and what is fake. These platforms are designed to be addictive and are linked to depression and anxiety. 

Social media is becoming more and more harmful for young children and teens. It can lead to cyberbullying, poor social and grammar skills, and unrealistic expectations for young boys and girls. Social media plays a critical role in today’s society, and it is not going away. Young people should be encouraged to use social media in a positive way that will be beneficial to their well-being and mental health.