The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

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The Digital Dilemma: How Social Media is Shaping the Lives of Teens

This photo depicts how social media can be the strings that control our brains and influence our thoughts and decisions.

Did you know that 95% of teens are on social media with an average screen time of 8 hours and 39 minutes? (Duarte). Social media is something that we are all new to and still trying to figure out. It has started taking over the world throughout the past 15- 20 years. 

Social media can cause children to feel depression and loneliness because they have fewer connections in the real world and spend most of their time online rather than in real life. Social media is full of many things that aren’t real and give teens a false sense of what they want. People are only posting the best parts of their lives which causes people to wonder why their life isn’t as perfect in comparison to what they see online. 

Many things on social media are edited to make someone appear better causing teens, especially girls, to want unachievable perfectly looking appearances. This can cause eating disorders and low self-esteem because they don’t feel like they can ever reach this seemingly perfect image that is impossible to achieve. It is a never-ending cycle of trying to attain unattainable features that always lead to disappointment.

Teens’ brains are also not fully developed yet and can be impulsive. Our brains don’t fully develop until our mid-to-late twenties, thus showing that teens sometimes don’t think through decisions or what they are posting; “Teens often create posts without considering these consequences or privacy concerns” (Mayo Clinic Staffer). This can lead to negative things in the future because everything on social media is permanent and they can realize years later that they should’ve never posted something which can come back to haunt them.

Another pressing issue brought about by social media is cyberbullying. When you don’t have to deal with face-to-face consequences people don’t feel any remorse when they say horrible things to people behind a screen. This can also lead many people to depression or loss of self-worth. It is statistically proven that teens take other people’s comments very personally and any comment can cause someone to feel defeated.

Most significantly, social media leads to younger people maturing too fast. Now kids of any age can see everything that is posted on social media, exposing them to things that can be above their age range. This can go hand and hand with their choice of outfits, wearing clothes that are too revealing or bathing suits that are too skimpy.

To help with these issues adults should first encourage more contact with friends in person and less online. This can help teens be more vulnerable and build their social skills. Parents can also set limits for their kids to make sure they are not on an excessive amount. Lastly, our society needs to make known that social media is not always real and there are unrealistic standards set. If these simple changes are made, teens will start to feel more comfortable with themselves and others.

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About the Contributor
Lily Frenck
Lily Frenck, Staffer
Lily Frenck is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. She has a younger sister in fifth grade and a dog. It’s her second year on the JV cheer. She loves hanging out with friends, beach days, watching the sunset, sushi and strawberry açaí refreshers from Starbucks. She joined journalism because she loves creative writing.

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