The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Opinion: The Sinister Truth about Social Media

Distract yourself from the distraction
For+all+of+its+benefits%2C+social+media+can+become+a+dangerous+addiction.
Chloe Shin
For all of its benefits, social media can become a dangerous addiction.

Human beings are social creatures. Everyone craves companionship and connection to feel like they can thrive in life. The strength of these connections has a massive impact on a person’s mental health. To be socially connected to someone, let alone a lot of people, can be a way of coping with anxiety or depression, boosting self-worth, or even just providing comfort from loneliness. The lack of a strong social connection can be an extreme risk to one’s mental health.

Enter social media.

While Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms have their benefits, it’s important to remember that such communication is not a perfect replacement for real life human connection. In-person contact with another triggers hormones that actually make one feel a connection.

Social media was originally created for this very reason, sharing and connecting. But engaging too much into social media can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression

As social media platforms are a relatively new technology, there’s little research to establish the long-term consequences on a person’s mental health. Nevertheless, it is clear that even if a user knows that the images they are viewing on social media were manipulated, they can still lead to insecurity. Envy and dissatisfaction are common side-effects of heavy social media use.

Instagram made headlines last year for “suppressing likes’’ in an effort to to help users. But comparison is inevitable.When a person reviews another’s social activity, they will tend to ask themselves questions about their worth. We all search for validation, adn when it does not come easily in real life, we turn to the internet, which ironically can make matters worse.

FOMO (the fear of missing out) plays a huge role as well. Missing out on certain experiences can create anxiety and depression, especially when people look online and see they were excluded, even if they are only seeing the most highlighted version of that experience. FOMO can fuel even greater social media use.

Research has proven that the earlier teens begin to use social media, the greater the effect on their mental health. 

Social media platforms are designed to snare one’s attention. The constant alerts and notifications make users slaves to their phones, and the more a young person prioritizes social media in place of in-person interaction, the more they are at risk. It’s especially dangerous that social media is easy, too, as it can be used as a security blanket when face-to-face interaction feels too challenging. 

We need to remember that people only post what they want others to see. Images and videos can be manipulated and are selected only for an audience’s liking.

Nevertheless, not many teens will have the drive to stop using social media, but reducing our consumption can be helpful, even if it puts strain on our freedom. Mindfulness comes by living more in the present moment, and a decrease in FOMO and loneliness will surely improve our mental wellbeing overall. Our self-worth must never come from our online status. and the more engaged we can be offline, pursuing physical activities and self-reflection, all involving real-world interaction, the less our mood will be dependent on how many likes, friends, and shares we have in our artificial lives on screen.  

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About the Contributor
Glee Farina, Staff Writer
Glee Farina loves music, loves to write, and hates school.

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