The Pitch Opinion: Social media has many negative effects

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The Pitch has noticed the negative impact social media applications have on student mental health, physical health and time management skills, which we feel must change in order for the next generation of students to be successful in school and their social lives. We have all scrolled through Instagram, Facebook, even VSCO for the artsy students at WJ and thought, “She does not look like that in person!”, “He is not that tall in real life, how did he make himself look taller?”, “They aren’t really that happy are they?” All of these questions stem from looking at other people’s posts and questioning the reality of the scene or person they are presenting online.

Social media makes it easy to pretend to be someone you are not. We are not addressing the catfishing situation, which is a different problem, but turns social media into a game of how perfect we can make our lives look. Students, without saying anything to each other, have created competition and false realities of their lives on apps like Instagram to show off. This has a see-saw effect on the self esteem of a teenager. When a teenager makes a post and they get a flood of positive comments, it’s a huge self esteem boost. But when a teenager on the other side of the screen sees this one kid smiling and living what looks like their best life, it can have big negative impact on their self esteem.

The obsession with social media takes time out of the students’ lives and creates a distraction. Social media can be distracting from school work, after school or even in classes. Teachers claim students have a dependency on their phones, which really is a case to case kind of accusation. The amount of times students are yelled at for being on their social media accounts, is too many to count. On the other hand, in the student Leadership class, students are encouraged to use their social media accounts to promote school events and that approach has worked better than just using posters and announcements around the school.

We agree at The Pitch that there is a time and place to use social media, but it is important to know the effects it can have on the self esteem of a user or follower

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