The Harmful Effects of Social Media

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Brianna Garcia-Andrade, Writer

“The good thing about social media is it gives everyone a voice. The bad thing is… it gives everyone a voice.” – Brian Solis. Social media can be very beneficial because it allows people to meet others all over the world, spread important and crucial information around fairly quickly, and stay up to date on issues happening outside of their bubble. But social media can also be misleading with the information put out, dangerous because of just how much we allow strangers into our lives, and unsettling because of how much this generation, as well as generations to come, depend on social media.

Social media allows so many people to voice their opinions to a much wider audience. It’s especially beneficial when the topic being shared is something that normally doesn’t get enough attention on the news, at school, or anywhere else. But people have to be very careful with believing everything that they see on social media because often people will share false information. Giving out false information can bring a lot of unnecessary negative attention towards a person who has been misunderstood or a lot of positive attention to someone who doesn’t deserve it. An example of misleading information is the lifestyle that we see a lot of social media influencers living. A lot of the stuff that you see on someone’s page is precisely what they want you to see, and most of the time it’s not real. There are so many young people on social media nowadays who see all of this and think that what they have isn’t enough. It creates unrealistic life and beauty standards that can corrupt the mind of a young person, and they will carry that with them for the rest of their lives. 

From a pretty young age, our parents tell us to never talk to strangers because it could put us in danger, which is true. But we live in a world where people are always online posting about themselves or their friends and family for everyone to see. It’s scary when you think about it because even if you aren’t interacting with strangers directly, they could still be interacting with your page, keeping up to date with what’s going on in your life. Despite what our parents would tell us, we now live in a time where talking to strangers is completely normal. This can be nice because you can meet new people and make more friends, but when you never see these people in person, it’s kind of hard to tell whether you’re talking to who you think you are. You can be one of the most cautious and safe people when it comes to social media, but really, how safe can you be on the internet when everything you post or say is out there forever? One way or another, personal information does get shared. 

We live our lives pretty much online. Because of COVID-19, we’re doing school completely online. We can’t see our friends as often as we’d like to, so we rely on texting them all the time to feel like we’re really with them, and some people even had to work from home. But even before COVID-19, everyone was still on social media all the time, whether that be on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or TikTok. How much time you spend on social media just takes away time from interacting with family and friends in real life. It’s progressively getting worse, especially if you look at how many young kids nowadays have phones and social media. Some influencers even make profiles for their babies that they manage until the baby is old enough to have their own profile or take over the one previously made for them. At this point, instead of trying to get kids off of social media to enjoy their childhood, we enable the opposite. 

In conclusion, social media is slowly but surely taking over this generation. It’s incredibly sad comparing the childhood kids had who were born in the early 2000s to the childhoods the children have today. Everyone thinks back to their childhood as a time where everything was so much easier because as kids, we were all pretty oblivious to the dangers of the outside world; we didn’t understand much. Now kids are being introduced to a dangerous part of the world at such a young age. Things are changing, and they’re not changing for the better.