The rapid evolution of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is considered to be one of the biggest advancements and accomplishments of this generation. In today’s society, the number one form of communication in the world is through social media. In addition, social media has dramatically changed the way humans communicate and think. We no longer need to wait for newspaper’s to be delivered, but rather learn from those on our social media feeds. Overtime, social media has proven its immense power as a resource to influence political and social policies.
However, communicating through a phone screen has proved to be very deceiving, detrimental, and deluding to the human race. Despite social media playing a positive role for most, surveys and studies have found that the high use of social media and technology can have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem and social skills. Those attributes are essential to overcoming hardships in life and social media is single handley stealing them from the human race. The constant use and interaction on social media is subsequently unhealthy for the human body as it has been proven to be disastrous to society.
Social media is something most kids and teens use all the time. It has become an enormous part of our generation’s lives. Instead of talking to someone face to face and hanging out, people prefer just texting or going on a social network. For most people, the proposition of life without social media is unimaginable. Moreover, interacting on social media is an inadvertent choice but some humans choose to use it excessively. Those who are addicted to using social networks are nearly blind to the adverse effects that it places on the human brain.
Consequently, there are numerous negative effects of constant interaction on social media which includes: cyberbullying, compromising education, impairing social skills, and affecting one’s mental health. According to Jacob Amdele of Santa Clara University, “social media is robbing us of trust and comfort we once placed in one another, replacing the human fellowship, physical and emotional support we once drew from each other with virtual connection(Amdele 3).” Ultimately, due to constant interaction on social networking sites, millions of humans have unintentionally lost their sense of self control and the ability to think independently. The rising information with respect to the impact of the Internet is a generally new and advancing wonder that society is just starting to grasp and assess.
Social media has conclusively made this the most antisocial generation to ever exist for a multitude of reasons. It continuously rips the self esteem out of warm-hearted human beings, especially teens. Cyber bullying is a huge problem within social media as it is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. It is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners, it is the modern-day bullying that can happen at home as well as at school, 24 hours a day. Picked-on kids can feel like they’re getting verbally harassed nonstop and that there is no escape. Recent studies indicate that approximately 20–35% of adolescents report involvement in bullying either as a bully, a victim or both. Furthermore, frequent cyberbullying can leave both victims and bullies at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and suicide.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Cyber bullying has a direct correlation to social media and suicide as bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University. Although cyber bullying can’t be recognized as a sole indicator of suicide in adolescents and young adults, it can increase the risk of suicide by enhancing feelings of disengagement, hopelessness, and sadness for those with prior mental illnesses. All in all, over the years, as technology has advanced, the rates of bullying have advanced vigorously.
As humans beings, it’s vital for us to have the capacity to initiate and produce individual connections with each other. However, social media annihilates those crucial connections by producing false perceptions of life. For example, the steady flood of filtered photographs that appear on Instagram undoubtedly bash’s numerous individuals’ confidence and self esteem. Stina Sanders, a former model who has 107,000 followers on Instagram, explained how social media sometimes makes her feel like she’s being left out. “I know from my experience I can get FOMO (fear of missing out) when I see my friend’s photos of a party I didn’t go to, and this, in turn, can make me feel quite lonely and anxious” ( The Independent). Also, Instagram and Snapchat are the social media platforms that have the worst impact on children’s mental health, according to a study published by Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement.
Likewise, Snapchat is a major platform for social media and it has over time proved be very addictive and also harmful to the youth. Some experts have even stated that social media is more addictive than cigarettes and tobacco. Although Snapchat made 825 million dollars in revenue last year, it still has numerous disadvantages that are detrimental to the younger generation. Negative mental effects from Snapchat include things like anxiety, dejection, and lonesome. Deliberately constant pictures of different teenagers at different events, also known as stories, can also lead tweens to body consciousness and eating disorders, fear of missing out, and bullying. In addition, seeing a picture of ones friends at a particular event that they were not invited too can cause an immediate drop in self esteem and self confidence. This all comes during an era of life when the younger generation is more adaptive to negative mental health and low self esteem.
Lastly, Snapchat and other social media apps are beginning rob a humans perceptual skills which involves the ability to organize and interpret the information that is observed and give it meaning. For example, we sometimes forget about the moment we’re in and suddenly you pull out your phone and think to yourself ‘Oh, let me take a Snapchat story of this so I can show all my friends how cool this is!’ In doing so, you’re spending more time worrying about sharing to the world a picture or video rather than taking it all in physically (Hansrisuk 2). Consequently, social media has directly impacted the imperative perceptual skills of humans that are crucial to forming social skills.
In conclusion, social media is one of the most powerful forces behind this generation and with everlasting advancements in technology, social media will continuously terrorize society for the rest of time. There are pivotal attributes that the human brain must obtain early on in life and it has been proved through effective studies and surveys that social media does indeed affect those key characteristics. While people can use social media to connect and create friendships with others, they also confront toxic comparisons, sleep deprivation, cyber bullying, and less frequent face-to-face interactions. F
inally, no other generation has had to grow up in an era where everything you do and say is on social media. Ultimately, generation Z and the millennials, can be referred to the modern day guinea pigs of social media. The difficulties that millions of people have had to endure from the adverse side effects of social media is stunning. While there are countless obstacles that the human race has overcome, the constant interaction on social media has placed a significant impediment on society, especially the youth. Social media is bound to engulf the entire human race.
- American Public Health Association, 12 Apr. 2012, ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300608.
- • Amedie, Jacob. “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Scholar Commons, 3 Sept. 2015, scholarcommons.scu.edu/engl_176/2/.
- Cheng, et al. “Influence of Media Reporting of the Suicide of a Celebrity on Suicide Rates: a Population-Based Study | International Journal of Epidemiology | Oxford Academic.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 28 Sept. 2007, academic.oup.com/ije/article/36/6/1229/820628.
- Lenhart, et al. “Social Media & Mobile Internet Use among Teens and Young Adults. Millennials.” Pew Internet & American Life Project, Pew Internet & American Life Project. 1615 L Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-419-4500; Fax: 202-419-4505; Web Site: Http://Pewinternet.org, 3 Feb. 2010, eric.ed.gov/?id=ED525056.
- Qualman, Erik. ‘Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, 2nd Edition’. 2013.