Mental Health Reminders: The Impact Of Social Media

Emma Correll (she/her), Columnist

It is something we endlessly invest our time into, ingest into our minds, and think critically about: social media. We may not realize the impact it has on our daily lives and how it has affected us throughout the years, yet the effects become apparent with growing numbers of social media users. Teens in the U.S. have been reported to spend on average about 7 hours a day on social  media – “Nearly 62% spend more than four hours a day on social  media and 29% use screens more than eight hours a day, according to a report by Common Sense Media,” according to CNN Health. This time is not including the hours we spend on electronics and media for school related use. It can be easy to blame these changes on modern society and the usual cycles we endure as times goes on, yet in the day and age of iPad kids and younger generations being raised practically just on media, it raises the question of how this will impact the future of our society?

 

Oftentimes, we can simply take a look around a room and see nearly every person glued to a screen. By spending  so much time myself on electronics and media, it is hard to remember a time without it. Living in the moment without worrying if I was missing out on something or if I needed to message a friend or family member, is  seemingly a faint memory from when I was a child. Many teens and pre-teens have been lacking social skills  because of increased screen times and social media. Many see unrealistic standards of beauty and materialistic things along with being exposed to negative influences which has the possibility of creating an obsession with such likely unattainable things. This may create unhealthy habits and changes in lifestyle choices that can have long term effects. 

 

Though media does prove to have some positive influences on our lives such as increased connections with friends and family that may be long distance and increased communications, taking time off our electronic devices and media has proven to induce a more healthier lifestyle. Media should not be put on the forefront of our lives. I suggest we each take a look at our screen times and amount spent on social media. Without the constant urge to look at social media and our screens we may see the truths and beauty of every day without feeling the need to snap a picture or share with everyone online, but instead cherishing a special moment spent with yourself and others physically around you.