BY ROSA PRESTON
Surveys show that 90% of teens ages 13-17 have used social media. 75% report having at least one active social media profile, and 51% report visiting a social media site at least daily. And often enough, they do this during school, which unsurprisingly isn’t allowed. Well, unless it’s during lunch, but that can still have a negative impact on students.
Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., most students have used some form of social media. And there are several different impacts on students, their performances in school, and schools overall. But not all of them are positive. If you’re caught with your phone, it’ll get Yondr’d, meaning it is being taken for the rest of the day. But depending on what you’re doing on your phone, there may be more consequences. “Prior to our district policy on phones, we had significantly more ‘drama,’ if you will, during the school day due to negative posting in class. We also had more discipline in class for students refusing to put their phones away when asked politely to do so,” said Jason Morton, the school’s assistant principal.
And considering how popular some social media sites are, this may happen more often than some may think. When asked which social media site they think is most popular, sophomore Paris Galette said, “I think Tik Tok is most popular because you’re not only able to watch people ski off a 200 ft mountain, but you can also be educated on race and culture. I think Tik Tok is a safe haven for most students to be honest. There’s a lot of crap that is happening at school and Tik Tok is just a place where you can go laugh, yell, cry, and dance off the crappiness of school.” She’s not entirely wrong, because as of 2021, Tik Tok gained 1.2 billion users. And 69 percent of those users are teenagers. Most teens make and watch videos on the site, and some try to copy things TikTokers do, which starts trends. But not all trends are fun and games. Some are really dangerous, and sometimes illegal, such as the “devious lick” trend. This involved students stealing school property and just vandalizing the school in general, which many might know can land you in serious legal trouble.
So social media has quite a few effects on students during school and the school environment over all. But let’s just talk about the students. Some social media users show off things like their bodies, opinions, and relationships with other people to the world, and this can spark some envy in some teens. Some may not feel this way, including Galette: “Social media has never been an issue for me. Why let people’s bodies, opinions and or jealousy take over your life? You live once man. Live it your way.” But the Pew Research Center states that 27% of teen users say social media makes them feel jealous or unsure about their own relationships with friends or family, with 7% feeling this way “a lot.” Not to mention some more serious emotions are sometimes included in this, including depression and anxiety. A 2019 study by Trusted Source suggested that teenagers who use social media for more than three hours daily are more likely to experience mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, aggression, and antisocial behavior.
So, what positive things can be taken away from this article? Lots of negative stuff about social media was mentioned, but it shouldn’t be taken away entirely, because there are some positives. Some people use social media to connect with others that they know who live far away, and it can be used to make friends of similar interests. But as previously stated, being on social media for too long can have some really negative effects on students and schools. So while social media can be used for a little while each day, people should also take a break, and focus on the outside world. Even if it means staring at a whiteboard for seven hours.