In defense of social media

In defense of social media

Bianca Storino, Staff Writer

There are currently 4.59 billion social media users worldwide. Half of humanity uses social media. It has become a part of everyday life for many, raising the question, is social media good or bad?

Social media relation to mental health 

“I don’t know why, but I overthink everything I post. Posting makes me feel anxious over literally nothing. I don’t even like posting anymore because it is just added stress for no reason; I can’t explain it,” junior Rachel Silvers said.

Silvers isn’t alone. Studies have shown that spending more than 3 hours daily on social media puts adolescents at a higher risk for mental health problems. 13% of kids ages 12-17 report depression, and 32% report anxiety. Startling statistics like these convinced one public school district to take action for the sake of their students. 

On January 6th, the Seattle Public School District filed a lawsuit against Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, hoping to have them take responsibility for the negative impacts they have had on adolescents’ mental health, but 


how much can these lawsuits truly accomplish?

Statistics have shown that excessive usage is the primary source of media’s adverse effects on teens, but social media networks aren’t encouraging the usage of their platforms. For example, Tiktok has a feature that enables users to get off the app after a certain amount of consistent scrolling. Additionally, in December 2021, Instagram launched its “Take a Break” feature.

Limiting social media usage to 30 minutes a day can reduce people’s fear of missing out, relieving the loneliness, anxiety, depression, and sleep problems associated with excessive social media usage. 

Media companies encourage users to use their apps in moderation. However, it would be a different story if Instagram or Snapchat added a feature that rewarded users for being on the app excessively.

Like most things in life, social media has a low risk of negatively impacting its user when used in moderation. This means that it is up to the user to use social media properly, and when used properly, social media can have many benefits to the user. 

Positive Implications of social media

Aside from opinions on the responsibility of social media companies, it is hard to argue that social media is an entirely negative innovation.

It is a beautiful way to stay up to date with friends and family oceans away. 

“Without social media, I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with my cousins in Pakistan. We’re both swamped, and with the 11-hour time difference, there is a small window to FaceTime,” said junior Amani Yousef. “By following each other on Instagram and occasionally ‘snapping,’ we both get a glimpse of our lives when I’m not in Pakistan.”

The media is a fantastic way to meet people with similar interests and a great way to spread awareness for issues you care for. Powerful movements such as the Black Lives Matter Movement and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge gained steam due to being publicized on social media platforms like Instagram. 

Social media exposes teens to different ethnicities, religions, and ways of life that they would not be generally exposed to. In addition, 69% of teens think that social media helps them interact with a more diverse group of people. 

“At the end of the day, it is up to the person using the app and whether or not they are going to exhibit self-control over how long they spend on social media,” junior Oliver Silver said.