Social Media: Not Always a Negative Thing


Students on their phones

Kylie Padilla, Design Team & Staff Reporter

We’ve all heard of social media: everyone uses it; everyone knows what it is. According to Mayo clinic, 97 percent of teenagers between 13-17 years old use social media. But there are many people who believe it is very negative and damaging to our youth.  We’ve all heard from adults that we spend too much time on social media and how we’re constantly glued to our phones.

But we aren’t sitting on our phones rotting our brains, as people often assume. For many, it is more of a positive thing: from educational TikTok videos, to finding communities with common interests and hobbies, and communicating with friends and far away loved ones. Yes of course there are bad effects of social media use that we need to also recognize although the positive aspects do as well need to be recognized.   

One of the biggest positives for myself as well as many other kids at Mountainside is the communication aspect of it all. 71.4% of  84 students at MHS say they use social media every day. Teens right now are talking and socializing more than ever through social media as well because of it. Whether it is through snapchatting pictures back and forth, over an instagram video call or even a post to your story, it is a form of communication being used. In my personal experience I use Snapchat everyday to communicate with my friends.

How often do you use social media survey results.

Not only I would say this. I see it almost  every day at Mountainside. Teens here have made more friendships and connections than I have seen before. You meet someone, you talk, you ask for their social media and boom there is a connection. Doing so communicates to the person  an insight of who you are and your possible interest. 

Not only is it used to communicate with friends but family just as much. There are people who are separated from their loved ones by distance and social media has changed that. You are able to video call over the biggest social network platforms. This allows people to talk to their family they may not be able to see in person. Personally I use Snapchat to see my family members’ location to communicate where I am. 

Many people slander social media saying it’s dangerous and damaging. Some would say it is overused and has taken over our lives. Teens are using it more and more because it is how we get to know each other and communicate. We are able to get an idea of who someone is by clicking their profiles, depending on how much or little they share about themselves.  This enables you to make a connection to them, beginning to build more and more of a relationship. Personally, most of my friendships were made thanks to social media. 

Not only is it great to meet people and communicate but it also can be quite educational. Everyone knows what TikTok is, whether you have it or not. It is extremely popular right now. If you get on the app and begin scrolling, you will come across many educational videos. Examples I see every day are, high school homework tips, real world problem solutions, how to make something, how things work and I have even seen videos of how to do things like help you write a college essay. 

Social media is a great way to interact with people who may have the same interest as you. Using facebook marketplace you are able to type in a thing, interest, hobby, etc. and it will automatically connect you to people all over the world who are interested in the same thing. You are then able to post questions, answer questions, and get to know people who you would have never met. You are able to see things from all over the world through different perspectives via your phone. Hence, social media makes our world a lot bigger. 

On the flip side many people also say that it is bad for our mental health because of the hate and negativity that comes with it. When you are using it to put yourself out there you are going to be judged. That is how life is. People are mean and you may get hateful things said about you. I can understand why people would say it is damaging. But at the same time you have to be able to deal with the negativity that comes with positivity. Social media isn’t for everyone.  

Many would also argue that teens spend too much time on their phones giving them anxiety. It is important to recognize when you believe you are spending too much time on social media. It is understandable that it may be overwhelming for people. But overall social media is a great place to meet people, communicate with friends and family, see around the world and so much more.