The Mind Effects of Social Media

River City students share their beliefs on negatives and benefits of internet use.

Mimi Nguyen, Editor

     She’s so pretty.

     He’s incredibly talented.

     She has a lot of followers.

     He’s a star.

     Her outfits are perfect.

     These can be thoughts that go through a teenager’s mind in today’s time as they scroll through Instagram, Snapchat, or while watching a YouTube video.

     Although social media is a way to be more open and extroverted, it can have some negative outcomes. Some adolescents can seem to be “obsessed” with a public figure they come across and have the urge to be like them. Seeing people who they want to be like can lower their own self-thoughts on themselves.

     Whether it be how someone acts, what they eat, or the type of music they listen to, it has an affect on what others may see of them. The way people portray themselves on social media may be substantially different than who they are behind the screens they use.

     “Social media affects people’s self-esteem by creating ideals in people’s heads that are unrealistic,” said Ashley Jensen, a freshman at River City.

     Like others, Jensen has struggled with confidence for some time in her life. “I used to be very shy, and now I am more outgoing, but still not all that confident. I tend to overthink what others say and worry about how others view me.”

     Thinking about others’ opinions is a common thing all humans do. It can help someone care less, or be more careful about how they act to improve.

     Receiving criticism and negative comments is easier to control when done on social media and the internet.

     Sophomore Ivanclyde Baylon implied that since social media “makes people communicate with others anywhere, you can whatever you want to them because you won’t be scared of the consequences since they live so apart from you.”

     David Acke, the psychologist here at River City sees students everyday and has spoken to hundreds of them about internet use, online gaming, online chats, and online interaction in general.

     “I see how people can come in contact with other people in the state or world, without the restriction of proximity. I also believe that the online forum can provide a voice to people that feel they are unheard or comfort to people that are lonely. I believe that it can allow people to feel like a larger community in many ways,” Acke affirmed.

     Social media use can affect one’s daily life, so to prevent this outcome there are multiple ways to keep this problem from happening.

     Acke listed, “Limit the amount of time on social media, so that it doesn’t become the only aspect of one’s life. Speak with trusted adults about things that are confusing, so they can clarify and help children understand complex situations. Be sure to report any cyber bullying.”

     Freshman Taryn McNeely hopes to work on herself to decrease her own self-deprecating thoughts.

     “I’m a singer in jazz band and I hear the older vocalists and put myself down because I compare myself to them even though I know they are more experienced.”

     McNeely suggested some ways to help others around the same age group that included “maybe putting up posters around public schools that have inspirational messages and ask them {other people} how they are and listening to them, because that makes someone’s day in my opinion.”

     Using platforms and apps has impacted the world in ways that will affect history continuing on in future generations. Younger people use it in their daily lives and sometimes, it can take a toll on the one’s level of confidence.

     “Taking a break from social media or reminding yourself of everything that you like about yourself can help people feel better about themselves,” Jensen assured.