by KIERYN RUBY
Social media gives us the ability to communicate with others on various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. We are able to share pictures, information, and even the occasional rant. While social media may seem like a fun way to interact with others, it has unfortunately become a stage for cyberbullying which can cause anxiety and depression in teens.
Anxiety and depression have always been issues with young adults, but now the number of diagnoses has skyrocketed due to the abundance of social media we have today. CNN and Time Magazine have both done studies on the increase of anxiety and depression in teens. They both credit the increase to social media. In part, this is due to the various forms of cyberbullying. We can post or say hurtful things to someone that are on display to everyone. For example, there is a blog on Reddit that is specifically for posting embarrassing or cringe-worthy videos of people. These people are shoved in the spotlight for doing something embarrassing. Because of this, this person’s self-esteem may drop and increases their chances of being depressed later on. Social media is not only a platform strictly for bullying, it is also great for communicating with others. We can give information to people who need it. We can also receive information like the latest news or what is going on in the world. Although, social media is useful for communicating, too many teens use social media for calling others out or “putting someone on blast”.
Yet another reason teens use social media is because they care too much about what others think of them. Most teens, including myself, worry about what others say or think. On Twitter, there are different kinds of posts that present other people’s opinions of us. There are the classic “fav for a tbh” and “send me an emoji and I will share my opinion of you” posts. These have given many of us anxiety wondering what that person really thinks of us. The anxiety can get even worse if the opinion is negative because that person will now try anything they can to make people like them. Studies show that anxiety has surpassed depression as the number one diagnosis in teens. Social media has reinforced the idea that we need to know other’s opinions of us. On the contrary, there are certain people that need other’s opinions to do their job. The Presidential Candidates, for example, took to social media to see how popular or unpopular they were. Companies that sell products need consumer reports to know whether or not their product is selling well. Teens, in some ways, are similar to these examples because most care about other’s opinions when they really should not.
Social media was intended to be a fun, new way to interact with others, but it has inundated teenager’s lives. Unfortunately, social media is now a large part of teen’s lives for all of the wrong reasons.