Social Media has a Lasting Impact on Teens’ Mental Health

What consequences can happen with the misuse of social media?


Some examples of social media apps that are commonly used by teens. Image from Julia Buktaw.

Julia Buktaw, Staff Writer

Social media can be used many different ways, but certain people need to be reminded that it’s not an appropriate place to bring others down. Many people use their social media platform in the wrong ways, but teens can work together to stop the spread of cyberbullying throughout the community.

Around 90% of teens use social media today. Social media can be used to share videos, events, ideas, opinions and more with the public. Some examples of social media are TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

They each have their own uses: if people want to watch funny videos they can use Tiktok, if they want to share a photo, they can use Instagram. Although they have different uses, there are ways people use it improperly, making social media seem like an uncomfortable place.

“[Social media] can be very draining,” said Elana Leichty, a sophomore at Freedom High school.

Some people use social media to share false information and harmful comments. Cyber bullying is something that many teens often see on social media. They believe making hateful or insensitive comments are harmless, but it can hurt people easily. Certain people have no idea how saying a small thing can largely affect someone mentally. They fail to realize that their words have a huge impact on one’s mental health.

Social media can spread information quickly, news can be spread through the tap of a button. There can be things that spread through social media that have a positive and negative impact on people. There can be an embarrassing video of someone, it may be funny, but sometimes it gets posted with the person in the video having no idea the video was posted. It is good to have consent before posting a video or photo of someone because once the post gets out there, there is no way it can be completely deleted, even if one deletes the original post. People, especially teens, need to be aware that posting a video of them doing something bad could be shared to anyone, including their school, it can affect their future entirely.

Pushing aside the negative things about social media, there can also be a positive side to it, like videos that spread positivity to others. There are trends on social media where people show support for others to help out with people who are struggling mentally or physically. But how could they be struggling mentally? Well, one contributor to that would be the misuse of social media. There are users of social media who use it to share useful information, share funny moments, and to help others with things. This is an example of using social media for its purpose. 

“I see it impacting me positively sometimes because I’ve been able to make new friends [on social media],” Leichty said.

Teens should be aware of the impact social media has on them, others, and their future. They have time to learn how to use social media correctly to help the ones who were hurt by others on social media to avoid it from happening again.