By ANGELINE ASATOURIAN
How is social media affecting your life?
The average teenager spends nine hours a day on their phone, with about 79% of that time being spent on social media apps, according to West Virginia Education Association. 97% of teenagers have social media accounts that they have access to on a daily basis, no matter where they are.
“It’s the cause of 90% of people’s insecurities nowadays,” says Orangewood High School junior Mya Trujillo Brand.
A new report by the Dove Self-Esteem Project surveying more than 1,000 girls ages 10 to17 revealed that one in two girls say toxic beauty advice on social media causes low self-esteem.
“It sets unrealistic beauty standards for kids our age, because they are expected to be so photo-produced,” says Trujillo Brand.
And 90% of girls say they follow at least one social media account that makes them feel less beautiful, according to “Social media and body image: The stats.”
“Social media had the effect of causing younger children and older people, mainly women and girls, to think they’re on a beauty competition, mostly due to men comparing young girls to adult women in a predatory way,” says OHS junior Andrew Simmons.
Being on these apps for that amount of time can also affect other aspects of a person’s social life and mental state. With the pandemic, students have been trying to distract themselves with phones from boredom and socially distancing, but this can also have negative effects.
“A lot of social media [apps] are giant time wasters to waste hours,” says OHS junior Kevin Kambey.
Games can become addicting and just being on a cell phone in general can isolate one from others because people have their phone and feel it is all they need.
“For our generation, most are addicted to the point where it impacts them where they throw fits if they don’t have social media,” says OHS sophomore Tracy Pineda Martinez.
“Conversating with another being ignored by the other person on their phone” says OHS junior Brandon Uribe, which is another example that people are addicted to their phones with social media.
Social media has affected many daily lives with bullying. People will use their accounts to bully others and make fun of their insecurities.
“It’s a way to make others seem tough behind the screen knowing that it’s not then,” says Pineda Martinez.
Social media can always be used for good with spreading news and information, but most teens use it as their escape from reality.
Most of the time students are busy playing games, like the infamous Subway Surfers, or listening to music, but for about 67% of the time they are scrolling through Tik Tok, Instagram and/or SnapChat.
Being on these apps for that amount of time can also affect a person’s social life and mental state positively. If a person is going through a rough time at home, it can keep their minds busy. They can also meet new friends that they never thought they would meet. It can help stay in contact with friends and family that are out of country.
Social media is taking over students life’s one day at a time. There needs to be a limit and some self discipline within students and their media, because as Erik Qualman, motivational speaker, says, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”