Social media’s impact on teens’ mental health

YS student opening Instagram

By Lena Englerth and Christian Steckel

Social media is growing in popularity among teens. The U.S. Surgeon General released a report that said up to 95% of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 use social media. One third of them say they use social media “almost constantly.”

Senior Donovan Molloy says he is on social media several hours a day. He shares why the app TikTok consumes the most of his time.

“Just cause it’s digestible in a really fast format. I like things that are really quick. So it’s really easy to just scroll for a long time. That’s what I end up doing.”

This is the exact reason senior Chessa Frolio doesn’t have any social media. 

“Honestly, I think it’s a waste of my time. I think that I would get stuck just constantly watching it.”

The Surgeon General’s report shares both positive and negative impacts of social media, but Donovan thinks social media does more harm than good.

“It can be beneficial in some ways if you’re using it a healthy amount, but I don’t think that most people do.”

The report also found that teens who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media face double the risk of mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

Senior Jade Boger agrees that social media has a negative impact on mental health. She uses it in spurts and sees how it can be a positive, but she doesn’t think it’s used that way as much anymore.

“It connects people. But I feel like we’ve strayed away from that to the point where it’s a mental health crisis. There’s negativity being spread online. Everyone’s comparing themselves to each other. And it’s addicting.”

Jade says teens no longer interact with the world around them because of how addicted they’ve become to social media.

“I feel like it’s getting perpetually worse because people, for one, they’re always on their phone. They’re not touching grass or not going out and talking to people as much. If you ever sit there in the lobby in our school, and you just look around, everyone’s slumped over on their phones and not talking to people.”

She shares her advice for her peers.

“Get off social media and touch some grass.”

I’m Lena Englerth, and I’m Christian Steckel, and this is Trojan News.