Better perspective on social media emerges now that students are back together in person

Deonte Belle and Mell Maloney Lopez, Staff Writers

Students have a love/hate relationship with social media. Although they often experience its negative impacts, it allows them to assert themselves in a way that can make them feel better.

Catherine Hernandez, a sophomore, describes social media as a way of “being able to express yourself, but the cons are people leaving negative comments on things that you share.”

Pew Research Center found that “About four-in-ten teens (38%) say they have felt overwhelmed by the drama they see on social media, while roughly three-in-ten (31%) say it’s made them feel excluded by their friends.”

In addition to feeling excluded, teens’ insecurities can increase when viewing manipulated images made to make people look more beautiful, successful, and desirable.

“Even if you know that images you’re viewing on social media are manipulated, they can still make you feel insecure about how you look or what’s going on in your own life,” according to Help Guide.

The way people view others’ lives can make them feel as if their life isn’t as great as another’s because of what they are constantly seeing on social media. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is another problematic effect that can leave teens depressed.

“Sites such as Facebook and Instagram seem to exacerbate feelings that others are having more fun or living better lives than you are,” according to

Sharing things on the internet can always be a risk, due to the fact that you’re letting people in on a part of your life, even if it’s for a split second. And yet, social media helps people stay in touch with others anywhere in the world, giving people more opportunity to communicate.

“The pro of social media is the connections that people can make with others all across the world, and the cons are the addictions people get from that connection,” sophomore Daniel Thrash-Walker said.

The pandemic had a huge impact on the world but its impact on teens who had to rely on social media to work, study and communicate with others, fueled teens addiction and reliance on social media.

A Common Sense Media report compared “the frequency, enjoyment, and time spent engaging in various types of media activities among 8- to 18-year-olds in 2019, just prior to the virus arriving in the United States, and fall 2021, as most schools around the country opened back up for in-person learning.” High school students’ enjoyment of social media decreased.

Common Sensus Census collected data that shows “Between 2019 and 2021, the total amount of screen media used each day went from 4:44 to 5:33 among tweens, and from 7:22 to 8:39 among teens. This is a much faster increase in just two years than was seen in the previous four years.”

“I use social to get to in contact with my friends and family and for a lot of things that I need, but I don’t really hangout with them online. I prefer conversations,” Thrash-Walker said.