By Saeri Plagmann, Clarion Staff
John F. Kennedy High School is home to over 2,000 students who go about their daily lives, influenced by social media in some shape or form. Because of the technological age we live it, it is not unusual to witness teenagers on their phones during class, while doing homework, walking, and sometimes even while driving. Social media is useful, but most of the time it takes time away from the important things; spending quality time with the family and even yourself. People get so consumed in what others are doing that they stress out from comparing themselves to the lives of others. As a result, the negative effects of social media highly outweigh the positives.
According to The Guardian in 2015, social media applies an undeniable amount pressure to an emotionally invested teenager. The need to be available 24/7, to respond immediately to text messages, and to wake up in the middle of the night to check on recent posts in case they were missing out on something; all of these deprive a teen of his/her mental and physical health. According to a recent student body survey taken at Kennedy, 95% of students have at least one social media account. This means that 95% are being exposed to the damaging effects of social media.
Those who spend more time communicating with people over text messages are more likely to struggle to communicate in the real world since they have less time spent in the real world. Texting takes away all of the essential skills a person needs in order to communicate, like interpreting the tone of voice, body gesture, facial expression, and other physical characteristics that you can only see when you are face to face with a person. Part of being confident about yourself is by observing how your words affect others. Social media acts as a wall that prevents you from seeing anything of the other person, which is why it can be difficult to communicate in person.
What people fail to understand today is that personal issues caused by social media will follow you into adulthood. For example, the University of Glasgow in 2012 was able to determine from their survey that social media use at nighttime that required strong emotional involvement often led to poor sleep and lower self-esteem. Those with low self-esteem were proven to grow into depressed adults. Therefore, social media can affect an individual over the long-term.
There are many things that students do not realize can happen if social media use is not regulated. Most people only see it as an innocent way of communicating with friends and being updated on trends, but there is more to it than anyone expects. It is important to realize the degree a person can be affected and the actions that need to be taken, in order to promote a safe and healthy way of communicating and keeping up with trending news. Life should be more experienced and not observed.