Tribune News Service
For many teens, social media has become an outlet to gain information about current events and staying connected with others. This has created a new torn between wanting to stay informed and wanting to preserve these teens mental health caused by social media.
It would be nice if social media was a constant utopia, unfortunately it seems to bring anxiety and depression along for the ride.
A PHS Junior, Katherine Pullam, talked about her experiences with social media at her young age.
“I try my best to balance these things, but I certainly think it’s hard. 2020 has been absolutely crazy, both politically, and racially fueled, alongside a global pandemic.” said Pullam. “I really don’t even think it’s possible to balance it well. So no, I really don’t.”
Other teens like Pullam, especially this year, have been faced with this challenge. With everything that is constantly going on around the world, it seems like there is no way to escape feeling overwhelmed.
I polled 155 people, ironically enough conducted on Instagram, and 86% said that their mental health was negatively affected by social media.
This goes to show that even though these teens and young adults are greatly affected by social media platforms, they’re still going to use it.
With all the information given to the public by social media. Whether that’s news or seeing what friends have posted. It can be hard for teens to find the balance between the time spent on and off social media.
According to center4reasearch, on average, 61.8%of teens use social media and 48% of teens using social media to get news. This definitely poses the thought that many people are affected by this new phenomenon.
Despite there being negatives to social media, it isn’t all bad. A PHS Sophomore, Ria Iyer, talks about her positive experiences that social media has to offer.
“I learned so much on social media, I feel like there are so many things that social media teaches me about just being a better human being,” said Iyer. “I have become more respectful of people and about things that are happening in the world as well.”
Social media has its downsides, but it does bring new information to the table and reaches greater audiences that couldn’t be reached before.
Social media does have its benefits but it still causes many people great distress. So, what are some solutions?
A great way to gain information without being on social media is to listen to a podcast. Not only is it entertaining but, you can listen while doing another hobby.
Getting off social media completely would be a great solution to improve mental health, however, that isn’t a very practical one.
So, here are two apps to help you get off of your phone and do something productive, like studying or practicing a hobby.
The app is called Flora and it is essentially a timer, but with a nice twist. For example, if you start a 15 minute timer, which in this app’s case, the timer starts when you plant a seed, then the tree starts to grow. If you stay off your phone for that 15 minutes, the tree will finish growing, but if you give up, you kill the tree.
Another app that could help improve mental health is called meditate. This app is set up in a podcast format, guiding you to a quick meditation session.
The sessions are very beginner friendly and can be a great way to help teens clear their mind and are great if you’re struggling with mental health.
Social media has its pros and cons, but it’s not going away anytime soon. With that being said, the downsides do come with solutions as well. There are other ways to combat this unbalance that teens are facing, even if it is not an easy one.