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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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Positive and Negative Effects of Kids Being on Social Media

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Credit to Izzy Lash
A teen reviews various reactions on a social media platform.

Social media plays a big part in many teens’ lives. A study by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry shows that over 90 percent of teenagers ages 13-17 have used social media, and 51 percent reported that they visit a social media site at least once a day. Social media can have serious impacts on a teen’s mental health. When it comes to social media use and screen time, it can be beneficial to set boundaries, especially for younger users.

“I would say if we can limit it to even just an hour or so a day, that would really help,” Educational Support Counselor Barry Morrison said. 

Social media allows teens to share their personal lives, talk with their friends, and express themselves online. But if not used wisely, it can distract them from their homework, deprive them of sleep, and expose them to cyber bullying.

“I do think kids should have a limit, I even think adults should have a limit,” Counselor Lisa Woodrum said. “I worry that teenagers and adults are spending so much time on social media that they’re not actually talking to real people.”

It has been proven that kids who spend more than three hours a day on social media are more likely to develop mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Kids can also be deprived of key social skills due to the lack of in-person conversations they have, caused by spending too much time on a screen.

“I think there is a developmental piece with it where kids miss out on how to interact with people and how to have face-to-face conversations because they are so used to looking at a screen,” Morrison said.

Despite this, there are some positive impacts that social media can have, such as communication with friends and family, entertainment and motivation.

“There have been a couple of times where I posted something kind of sad and one of my friends replied with a quote that has helped them in the past,” junior Ellie Barnum said.

Social media can also be a great tool when it comes to getting into colleges and universities. It is a great way for high schoolers trying to get into colleges to get their name out there.

“As a baseball coach and working with athletes, I think it has become a platform to put out your name, your position, your stats, and your videos and universities around the country can go pull it up and look at them and I think that really has some value,” Morrison said.

Venturing into the social media world can be a scary thing for new users, so it is important to make sure that teens are staying safe and being smart with what they post and who they add on social media.

“Add people that are your real friends in real life,” Woodrum said.

Users can have trouble limiting the time that they spend on these apps due to how addictive they can be. So it is crucial that people are able to control their usage on social media.

“Don’t get obsessed or addicted,” Barnum said. “Don’t make it a priority.”

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