Social Media a Connector: Also a Divider



“Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.” (Pete Cashmore). Social media is an app or site created to allow anyone from anywhere to interact with you. Social media was first introduced in 1997 with the first social media platform being a site called Born. Now there are lots more like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Tik Tok. Social media has remodified the way we socialize with friends, family, and people online, but it can have some negative effects on young people nowadays.

Though there are lots of negatives that come with social media but you can not deny that there are also positives that come with social media. One positive that comes with social media is that: “Social media allows teens to create online identities, communicate with others and build social networks. ” ( Mayo Clinic Staff Para. 3). The evidence given demonstrates that with social media teens have a platform to communicate with their friends, family, and anyone. With the ability to communicate with others they could build social networks. This is good because they can interact with people who have the same interests as them which can help boost their self-esteem and mental health. Another positive that comes with social media is:  “Teens also use social media for entertainment and self-expression. And the platforms can expose teens to current events, allow them to interact across geographic barriers and teach them about a variety of subjects, including healthy behaviors.” (Mayo Clinic Staff Para. 3). This piece expresses the impact social media has had on teens because it allows them to express themselves. That for one is a good thing because being able to express yourself and show your aesthetic to the world can really boost your self-esteem in many different ways. The piece also states that social media allows teens to interact across geographic barriers and learn new things about other places and many other cultures. That just shows that with social media people are able to connect with each other around the world. Overall, social media has its bright sides being able to connect and bring people together. However, there are sides of social media that are not so bright and happy.

Social media is a place to connect and make friends. But did you know this site can break ties and bring the bad side out of some people? We can see these negative effects when: “Kids text all sorts of things that you would never in a million years contemplate saying to anyone’s face,” says Dr. Donna Wick” (Ehmke Para.8). This quote illustrates that with social media someone can switch up on you just like that and behind your back. Kids would rather say something bad about someone on social media but rather not in real life and straight to their faces. This can also be called cyberbullying a type of bullying done online. Cyberbullying can really lower someone’s self-esteem just as it would in real life. People with low self-esteem tend to consider committing suicide which is not so adequate. This just shows that social media can bring out the abject and bad sides from inside someone and can lead some the wrong path in life. Another negative effect of social media is that: “social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure.” (Mayo Clinic Staff Para.5). This displays the negative effects that come with the use of social media. Kids nowadays do not get plenty of sleep since they spend most of their time on social media. This habit then becomes a paradigm every day leading to lots of stress. Which can have a great deal on their health because kids and teens tend to get more triggered easily because they are tired. The piece also states that with the use of social media comes rumor spreading and cyberbullying which can affect teens’ mental health lowering down their self-esteem because they are being bullied online. Then rumor spreading likely leads to fights at school and anywhere that teens have access to. All in all, we can say that social media comes with its pros and cons but who is responsible for these problems that come with social media.

While the positives are building connections and the negatives are cyberbullying and rumor spreading, ultimately, the user of the website is responsible for the effects of social media. For example, “The amount of time you spend on social media is enough that it has a negative impact on your studies or your job.” (Bonnie pg.68). This quote itself states that the user is responsible for the effects of social media because they are the ones using this technology. It is not the creator’s fault if they can not control themselves and their usage of social media. The user is the one using the site so much that it even interferes with his work and studies. The user is responsible why because: “Other research has shown a different kind of problem among young people who are heavy social media users: the risk of becoming addicted.” ( Peggy J. Pg. 34). The quote displays the reason why it is the user’s fault for what happens to them when they use social media. They use it so much that it has come to a point where it is called an addiction. If they are not able to control themselves then who really can they pick up their phones out of apathy then don’t know when to put it down. In the end, it all really comes down to the user and his decisions on the site that can really have an impact on them.

Social media can come with its pros and cons so young people need to be aware of the risks that come with making an account on social media websites. You never know what can happen to you online. With social media, you can build connections, connect with the outside world, destroy bonds with friends, spread rumors, and become addicted. All those things come with creating an account on a social media app or site. So is it really worth checking out social media?

Works Cited

Ehmke, Rachel. “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers.” Child Mind Institute, 16 June 2020, childmind.org/article/how-using-social-media-affects-teenagers/. 

Hinman, Bonnie. Teens and Social Media. ReferencePoint Press, 2019. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e862xna&AN=1849592&site=eds-live.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Teens and Social Media Use: What's the Impact?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Dec. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teens-and-social-media-use/art-20474437. 

Parks, Peggy J. Social Media. ReferencePoint Press, 2017. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e862xna&AN=1718767&site=eds-live.