Is social media taking over our lives?

Teens are influenced by social media in their everyday lives, but is that a good thing?

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Is social media taking over our lives?

Instagram is a social media app used to post pictures.

Instagram is a social media app used to post pictures.

By Elise Canning

Instagram is a social media app used to post pictures.

By Elise Canning

By Elise Canning

Instagram is a social media app used to post pictures.

Elise Canning, JAG reporter/photographer

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Social media is a major part in our lives as teenagers. With so much access to the world around us, we as teenagers are heavily influenced by what we see on the internet. The negative effects include lack of self-confidence and addiction, the benefits include access to the world that’s not immediately around us and meeting new people

However, social media is taking a toll on teens’ self-confidence. We see what others want us to see. A majority of them only show their best selves on social media, which gives teens the illusion that the versions they see online are that person in real life. 

I am guilty of this as well. Why would I post about my breakdown over homework or an unflattering angle on Instagram, when a picture of me smiling at a pumpkin patch is would get many more likes? It’s a platform where I want people to think my life is going great. We live in a world where we post pictures of ourselves for validation. 

Addiction is also a very real problem with social media users. Teenagers are constantly using social media. We prefer texting a person behind the screen instead of talking to them in person. Being on our phones at night also affects our already ruined sleeping schedules. It increases serotonin levels which keeps up awake even after the screens are down. 

Social media isn’t all bad. It can have a positive impact because we have such immediate access to opinions on anything and everything, allowing us the opportunity to be informed just as well as adults. Teenagers can socialize with people regardless of where they live. We as individuals can feel less isolated and alone by connecting with people who are like them. 

Social media is a very beautiful thing. We are able to talk and relate to people we would never be able to. However, the addictive aspects can be detrimental to us if we allow it to do so. 

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