Social Media is Toxic and Here is Why

Social Media is Toxic and Here is Why

Shanhi Chang, Staff Writer

Whether you are a fan of social media and feel it is nothing but a positive for people or you are wary of it and feel it does far more cons than pros, you probably have an opinion on it. The truth is, social media’s impact on teens is an important issue.

The general question of whether social media is good or bad is a common discussion topic everywhere in society. It is a big issue in the news, in families, in schools, and among teens. There are indeed times when social media has been positive and helps people express themselves and puts them in better situations. But, like any controversial topic, there are also times when social media is just a toxic output on people’s lives and causes issues and conflict for them in far too many ways.

When it comes to social media there’s a boatload of pros. In many ways, it impacts people’s lives in a number of ways that give them joy, it gives people vigorous ideas on what they want to learn about, and it provides a better way to express themselves when they, perhaps, feel they can’t. Frances Dalomba, writing for Lifespan in her article “Pros and Cons of Social Media,” talks about the positive aspect of how social media can be a window into how young people are feeling. She states  “Social media can be a good thing, but if teens ever feel uncomfortable about something they see or read on social, they should trust their feelings and talk to someone – a parent, a teacher, or another trusted adult. Bullying, threats, and cruelty on social media are all signs that the person doing those things needs help.” The fact that social media can help young teens deal with cyberbullying in a good way that doesn’t lead to conflict is a solid pro of social media.

For me, despite my use of social media, I see it as something that provides mostly negatives.  Social media is toxic to society and is especially toxic for young teens of this generation. It drives people to take others’ opinions to heart and judge others to the point of doubting themselves. In fact,  in extreme situations, it has led to teens doing themselves harm, even going as far as suicide.  “Social media itself is not the problem. It is the way people use it in place of actual communication and in-person socializing. ‘Friends’ on social media may not be friends, and may even be strangers.” Phones and social media are also extremely addicting. I have a hard time getting off my phone during school and anytime I feel like being on it. for teens of this new generation.

Phones are hard to manage for everyone and by adding social media it’s like a drug they can’t get enough of and that they always need to be connected to. Dalomba’s article also talks about society’s fear of missing out, which is exacerbated by social media. She writes, “FOMO has become a common theme and often leads to continual checking of social media sites. The idea that you might miss out on something if you’re not online can affect your mental health.”

Ultimately, social media’s negatives outweigh the positives. The biggest negatives, suicide, and bullying, are the biggest reasons for concern. So what should we do about this? Well, we can’t get rid of social media because, as bad as it seems, it’s a very big part of some people living positively. So, what we as a generation can do is limit ourselves and do better as a society with what we post and how we both present ourselves on social media, and how we view others.