Are Kids Becoming Too Social?

In this age of instant information, is social media hurting today’s youth.

Maddie Maurer, Photojournalist

Should middle schoolers have social media?

Social media is something that kids today are all growing up around. When we think about it, social media is being used pretty much everywhere and students are rarely without their devices. While engaging in online entertainment and accessing information at a moments notice are benefits,  there are also drawbacks to being overly consumed by outside influences. So the question is: should middle schoolers have access to social media?


One person who is all for the idea of middle schoolers having social media is 7th grader Ellen Elkins. “Social Media gives a lot of entertainment and can help you communicate easily with friends and family,” she said.


 One reason that social media can be beneficial to students is that it can help expose people to information they did not know of before.  When going on social media, people can learn a lot about what is going on in the world. For example, if you went onto social media and found a video about how plastic harms the ocean, this might make you feel like you need to do something about it and helps you feel the need to make a positive impact on the world. 


On the other side of this conversation is the idea that social media exposes young people to information that is not age appropriate. 6th grade James Thompson is one of them. He describes social media as “A place where people can post bad information about you or your friends.”


Stress, a common feeling among young people, is directly linked to social media according to research done by the Pew Research Center. In a 2015 survey of 1,800 people, women reported being more stressed than men.


In the article, “Is Social Media Bad For You?” The evidence and the unknowns written by Jessica Brown it states “Twitter was found to be a “significant contributor” because it increased their awareness of other people’s stress.” 


Whether it is grades or relationships, many students can have stressors triggered and social media can add to that. 


Ironically, while social media presents as a way to bring in groups of followers, it can also often lead to people feeling lonely and isolated from the rest of the world.  For example, say you were to see a picture of your friends on social media at an amusement park, which can then lead to you feeling distant and separated from the rest of your friends or anyone for that matter. 


It is important to make sure you use technology for positive outcomes not negative, for  your well being. Social media has both advantages and disadvantages so be sure to use social media wisely.


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