Hello friends! A while back, I started a series, if you will, called “A Teen’s Take [on…]!” It’s relatively simple. In these posts, myself, or another teen, will share their feelings and experiences with/on basically anything. The goal of these posts is to relate with fellow teens and to give adults an inside perspective on modern-day youth. With that being said, the following content is just my personal experiences, as I cannot and will not speak for teenagers as a whole. Today, I will be sharing my feelings on social media, both the positive and negative aspects.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to refer strictly to Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat when using the term “social media.” Those three platforms are all very different and have both positive and negative aspects. Let’s start with the negative: Social media prompts comparison which can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Oftentimes, at least this is true for me, scrolling through posts filled with people’s daily lives and “perfect” habits and appearances makes us feel bad about ourselves. We feel inferior or even unhealthy in comparison, which couldn’t be farther from the truth! It’s hard to remember, or maybe some simply are not aware, that people that people only share what they want you to see, and that’s the beauty and downfall of social media.
Something that has hit harder for me in terms of social media, is seeing what everyone is doing. Viewing stories filled with friend groups living it up, and people who swear they hate each other now cheek to cheek can feel isolating. Again, here would be a great time to remember that social media is a highlight reel. The girl who talked shit about the girl she’s hanging out with today wants everyone to know that they are friends for some bizarre reason… popularity maybe? Perhaps the worst feeling is seeing your friends out together or with their other friend group. Those images linger in your mind and make you question yourself and your friendships, which often ends in hysteria (from my own experiences).
Despite what I said in the last paragraph, I believe that social media has plenty of benefits. For people like me, social media, specifically Instagram, has morphed into a hobby. It’s a place to express myself and make connections. Contrary to the impact social media as on many of my peers, my Instagram account has boosted my self-confidence and mental health. While many toxic aspects creep into my personal, and sometimes my blog, account, I have found that when used correctly, social media helps me.
While one might argue that scrolling through social media is unproductive or a waste of time, it’s how many teens choose to unwind. After sitting at a desk for eight or more hours a day, I can almost effortlessly get a laugh and a few smiles in by opening up TikTok or Instagram. Honestly, we get to choose how we spend our free time, and if TikTok isn’t eating into time for schoolwork or other important tasks, having an entertaining, yet mindless “activity” is something that teens should be able to indulge in guilt-free.
With more and more people logging off their socials for good, I found it important for myself to form my own opinions about these so-called “evil” platforms. This post is a basic outline of the conclusion I’ve come to. With that said, I do think it is important to take breaks from the influence and pressures that live in these apps, even if it’s something I struggle to do myself. Let me know in the comments: How do you feel about social media? Do you agree or disagree with my statements? I’m curious to see how you feel! Anyway, thanks for reading and happy (or not so happy) scrolling!