Social Media ruined our generation


Ashley Riggs, Group Leader

Social media… a term adults use to reference the younger generations ongoing addiction. Teenagers will call them by the names Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, the list goes on. These apps are consuming teenagers’ lives. According to the article “Even teens are worried they spend too much time on their phones,” Jenny Anderson, a reporter, said teenagers spend around nine hours online each day, which is taking away precious time, and also damaging teens’ minds. The easiest thing people notice is fewer kids are spending time outdoors; they are too busy glued to their screens. The article Children in Nature  states, “Children today spend less time outdoors than any other generation, devoting only four to seven minutes to unstructured outdoor play per day while spending an average of seven and a half hours in front of electronic media.” Even elementary students are playing games on a tablet instead of playing on the playground. One of the main reasons people are on social media so much is because of the rush of dopamine it sends to the brain. That rush causes an addiction because people constantly want that dopamine rush. The article    Dopamine, smartphones & you: A battle for your time  says, “Smartphones have provided us with a virtually unlimited supply of social stimuli, both positive and negative. Every notification, whether it’s a text message, a “like” on Instagram, or a Facebook notification, has the potential to be a positive social stimulus and dopamine influx.” For example, it when people get a notification and they hear the “ding,” making them instantly want to check their phones. Another way it causes addiction is that social media has tactics to make people feel like they need to use it every day. For example, Snapchat streaks are when two people send at least one Snapchat each other daily- this starts a streak, but if someone doesn’t send anything one day then the streak is lost. This is very common among middle and high school students, who feel the need to keep their streaks, causing them to have to go on Snapchat every day. Also, when high schools have Homecoming, students feel the need to post photos from the event and show the public. The article “ This is your brain on Instagram: Effects of social media on the brain” explains, “When a person posts a picture and gets positive social feedback, it stimulates the brain to release dopamine, which again rewards that behavior and perpetuates the social media habit.”This addiction is also well-known; many teenagers will claim they are addicted to their phones and can’t “survive” without them for a day. Another thing Senior Bella Reynolds pointed out was, “Social media has ruined our generation, because it’s something that society feels like they can’t live without. Whenever something happens-big or small, good or bad-we feel the urge to socialize that and put it out for others to see. It’s become an addiction to our generation.” The addiction to social media goes beyond an addiction; it can directly cause depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Junior Delaney Muncy said, “Social media can cause social anxiety and constant feeling of being left out because you can see what everyone else is doing.” This is just one example of the negative effects social media brings. When people constantly feel left out, it can lead to depression due to the feeling of loneliness and betrayal.  

If you want to learn more about the damage social media causes, Netflix has a documentary called Social Dilemma that does fantastic job teaching people about this issue. Senior Molli Langolf watched it and said, “It truly blew my mind and changed my perspective on social media.” The article Digital Detox: 10 suprisingly easy ways to kick social media addiction  gives many ways to help the addiction. For example: deleting all the accounts you don’t use, be mindful of the time you spend on social media, and turn off notification. Altogether, social media is an addiction many people have, and the effects of it are way worse than one may believe.