The Damaging Effects of Social Media

The Damaging Effects of Social Media

Leah Smith, Writer

Currently, there are over 3.96 billion people in the world that use social media. The majority of these people have faced some form of cyberbullying. This is the beginning of a new decade, and a time where changes need to be made for the greater good for future generations to come. 

Social media has taken a toll on mental health for the youth, and it is only going to get worse. The various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) used cause many people to lose confidence in themselves with just a few negative comments. Social media is supposed to be a platform where you can express your opinion, but some people contradict that idea completely. Different viewers on social media might go through loads of conflict that can mentally damage them, like anxiety, depression, and body image issues. It can also make people struggle with loneliness, making themself feel left out of events.

As a member of Gen Z, and a social media user, I can confirm how audacious people can act in the comments. Often, I encounter selfies of females I know, in the comments there would be someone saying that they’re “showing off” or just simply being “too confident.” Many social media users assume too much about the intentions of a single photo posted online, and don’t think about the after effects of their comment.

The negativity outshines the positivity, and it starts getting into your head the most. According to the Pew Research Center, “60 percent of teenagers have experienced some sort of cyberbullying.” These users are likely to develop social anxiety, depression, or even have suicidal thoughts. 

The Cyberbullying Research Center states, “Nearly a third of tween cyberbullying victims said the incidents affected their friendships, while 13 percent said it affected their physical health.” This type of experience can even be carried into adulthood, feeling ashamed of their own appearance, or being around their loved ones.

Even though social media can increase mental health for younger teens, others might argue that social media has improved their life completely by making new friends, and push them to gain a healthy lifestyle. But this still doesn’t change the fact that it causes a lot of problems too. No matter what, day by day there are still users getting harassed online. People portray situations in different ways and their bad experience can never be changed by your good experience. 

Overall, cyberbullying online has been overlooked completely by the majority of the world, and should be taken in for consideration. It is a huge problem that so many people have gone through, and together we can find a solution to end cyberbullying once and for all.