Teenagers and Social Media

Shea Cline, Head-editor

Last week I spent 32 hours and 35 minutes on social media. I averaged almost 6 hours a day on social media apps alone. In a poll done on the Official CavTalk Instagram page, several students said they spent 6-8 hours a day on social media apps. According to aacap.org, on average, teens are online almost nine hours a day. 

The culture surrounding social media use among teens has an incredible impact on mental health and self-esteem, as well as an inherent influence on risk-taking behaviors such as cyber-bullying, online sexual solicitation, self-harm, and substance use. A number of studies have been conducted on the impacts of social media, and it has been indicated that the prolonged use of social media platforms may be related to negative signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.

However, this does not mean that internet and social media use is inherently wrong or bad. According to an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Benefits and Costs of Social Media in Adolescence, by and large, extant research has found that youth use social media in the service of critical adolescent developmental tasks, such as identity development, aspirational development, and peer engagement. 

Regardless, It is important to take a break from social media from time to time. Scheduled breaks or limited screentime can help to ensure you aren’t impacting your health. Turning off your notifications and alloting time to yourself specifically for social media use could be more beneficial for your health in the long run.