By: Ava Yau
Social media has changed the lives of teens completely, but that doesn’t mean it is changing in a good way. Being a teenager in today’s world I can say, with full confidence, that social media is as bad as it is good.
While it gives an outlet to share ideas, opinions, and achievements it also gives people the opportunity to spread hate and magnify aspects of life that are unrealistic. Growing up with constant visuals of people that look differently than you has affected the way many people I know view themselves, including myself. Not only do we tear ourselves apart for not looking like the photoshopped women on the other side of the screen but we also yearn for the life we see every day online that really is too good to be true. We view these lives on the internet that seem so easy and problem-free, and we believe it all. The worst part is that we wonder why our lives aren’t like that, and the fact is it’s because it’s all fake. All of the perfect lives are fake. We don’t know the real story because people don’t want to share it. Social media gives us an opportunity to show people what they want to see and conceal everything they don’t.
Along with comparing ourselves constantly to others online, we face the issue of cyberbullying. When people can’t say things to your face they resort to anonymously making harsh comments online. Hateful comments affect teens more than we know. I know this because I have seen cyber bullying first hand. People are mean because they CAN BE with no consequences over social media. 59% of US teens surveyed say they have been bullied or harassed over social media, and teens who are cyberbullied are two times more likely to commit suicide or commit self-harm.
We need to acknowledge the negative impact social media has on teens more and come up with solutions.