Social Media: The platforms eating away at self esteem


Clara McComb, Staff Reporter

Social media, a toxic virtual network, poisons the lives of children, teens, and adults around the world. These venomous platforms are addicting and it’s time our society does a detox. 

Human beings are social creatures; it’s in our nature to crave interactions with others and to feel connected. Social media was originally created as a way to do just that, but unfortunately it’s developed into a substantial issue when it comes to people’s wellbeing. 

According to CNN, the average teen spends about 9 hours a day on social media. 9 hours is the majority of the time that people spend awake. If the majority of our waking hours are spent mesmerized by a screen, how are we supposed to do other important things? Where’s the time to go outside or read a book? The time to connect with our family? The hard answer is, there isn’t any. 

A survey taken by 8th, 10th and 12th graders across the nation provided an interesting perspective on how social media plays into teen’s lives. According to Jean Twenge’s article What might explain the unhappiness epidemic?, teens that spend more time off of social media are more likely to be happier. All of the activities that didn’t provide happiness for these students were related to online socialization such as playing online games, texting, using video chats or other social platforms. 

Another way social media can be detrimental to self esteem and mental health is through the development of one’s “online life” or social media persona. The biggest problem with these online personas is that many times they’re only half of reality. 

With the rise of “influencers” and social media “micro-celebrities” social platforms have changed, but for better or worse? These “influencers” post just about everything that goes on in their daily lives. With millions of people looking up to them as role models, their 15 second videos and edited pictures have become the norm. 

Many of the pictures that our favorite celebrities and influencers post on social media aren’t real, in fact, they’re highly edited to make sure no imperfections are seen. If someone was posting pictures that millions of people were going to see of course they wouldn’t want their biggest insecurities showing but, these “perfect” pictures have unfortunately created new, toxic beauty standards. 

Today, it’s all about wearing cute clothes to post on Instagram or keeping your followers updated with what you’re doing in your everyday life. Posts on social media are only half real and that’s how the platform has become so toxic. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative impacts that social media can have on people’s lives. 

The reality is social media isn’t going away, but social media isn’t reality. As we all know, life on the internet isn’t always what it seems. These platforms have taken over, but they definitely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.