The Two Sides Social Media

John Ryu, Staff Writer

Social media is mostly used by young people to share thoughts, memories, and events, and to communicate. According to a study by RSPH’s study, the only social media that got identified as positive social media was YouTube, while other big social media like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram were determined to have more negative effects them positive. Before getting into the negative side of social media let’s first talk about the positive effects. Social media is a great place to achieve your dream. You can advertise anything as much as you want and the customer will give you feedback. As Bryan Lim junior says, “It is a great opportunity for artists and small businesses.” However, social media can affect one’s confidence as there are many videos and posts that are mostly showing off. When they compare themselves on social media, it leads them to have negative thoughts and feel like they do not fit in. 

You could also form some kind of connection on social media. If you are a somewhat big influencer, you could connect with other influencers and form a variety of connections which could be very useful when you need support from anyone. Another positive effect would be you could stream or share information live and have lots of active communications going around. 

Since there are lots of different videos and channels on social media, it could help you with schoolwork or any interests you have. For example, if you are struggling in math, you could watch Khan Academy on YouTube or other tutoring videos that could help you succeed in hard classes. 

Social media is a good place to connect with your friends outside of school and great for communication for further plans. Also it can provide you the opportunity to meet new people and get to know them better. 

It gives the power of voice to marginalized groups. For example, there are lots of people donating and supporting Ukraine or people donating to people who got into severe accidents. Just like that, it could give you a chance to reverse unfair situations.

However, as technology and the internet continues to develop and become popular the rate of cyberbullying has gone up. According to one study, 9.2% of Indian teenagers are victims of cyberbullying. The more interesting fact is that reported cases are less than 50%. Also, it is hard to identify that one is suffering from cyberbullying and that could result in bad choices. 

Another problem is that teens do not value person-to-person communication as they used to. Teens’ favorite way of communicating using social media increased and in person communication has decreased from 49 percent to 32 percent. This sign could be bad because online texting lacks elements that in person have such as expression and tone which would make conversation often be misunderstood or not taken as deep or authentic.

The average time goldfish could focus is nine seconds and generation Z’s focus time was measured at twelve seconds, which suggests that social media is causing the “goldfish effect.” The more focus time decreases the more they lose concentration and it could also cause distorted memory. Also, disorders like Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are being normalized among teenagers due to the use of social media.

Teenagers could treat their sleep schedule as less important. Sophomore Sarah Lee says, “After I finish my school work, I always go to TikTok, and then I spend like 30 minutes on it when I wake up. I regret doing that every day.” According to google you need at least 7-8 hours of sleep to be able to perform well in school. 

Social media has useful information. However, According to the internet, 82.5% of teenagers are exposed to inappropriate content. Although inappropriate content depends on maturity and age these are the things that are exposed to casino sites, websites that encourage crime and public destruction, and R-rated games. One example could be the TikTok trends that happened in our school. Freshman Jessica Yu says, “Devious licks and national shoot up your school day.” Devious licks are when students destroy or take school property just to post it on TikTok and make other students not be able to use the bathroom. 

Social media is very addictive. The main reason why is that it gives you instant entertainment and satisfaction. According to an article by Paiz, “Online learning is not efficient, due to the lack of interest students are giving to this matter, as well as the fact that the student’s focus is compromised by other things as well.” Students had a hard time staying focused last school year 2020-2021 because they had more access to technology. If you are heavily addicted to social media, it is possible that your body is spreading dopamine due to satisfaction and achievement which could possibly lead to phantom vibration symptoms, keep checking your phone whenever you get a notification. 

A possible solution to avoid worsening these symptoms could be putting the devices as far away from you can, not using the device when you are with your family or friends or “turn on do not disturb mode.”