Social Media: Dandy Or Dreadful?

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Carly Wilson, Staff Writer

When it comes to social media, everyone has an opinion. Some think it is beneficial to the teenage community, and others say it is destroying the society. The youngest generation will be leading us through an uncertain future, but will social media help or hurt Gen Z?

Social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are very efficient at spreading stories. This is sometimes helpful to spread awareness to certain causes, charities, and current events. However, it is so easy to create a fake article, spread it using social media, and misinform millions of people at the click of a button. According to libguids.com, a survey shows that nearly half of readers report seeing (at least) one fake news story per day. However, countless people see different charities and other causes being talked about on social media. Social media can spread awareness to both life-saving causes and fake news used to skew peoples views on different topics.

Additionally, people can express their creativity using social media apps, including (but not limited to) Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. It is important that teenagers have an outlet to show their creative side. We can show off art, music, and other things about ourselves that gives us a sense of value and worth, and social media is an easy and accessible way to do that. However, many teenagers can get easily sucked into their social media feed, prohibiting them from actually being creative. We spend hours blankly staring at a screen, scrolling away our lives. Young people ranging from the ripe ages of 13-18 spend an average of seven hours a day on their phones, according to abcnews.com. It is zombifying, but not entirely our faults. Algorithms are created specifically for each consumer, to ensure they are on social media as long as possible.

One of the final major arguments young people use to defend themselves from the Boomers saying that “we’re on our phones too much” is that it is helpful to stay in contact with our friends and family. This is an accurate statement, as 71% percent of all teenagers report that they spend time interacting with friends via social media, says connectsafely.org. Social media is also extremely beneficial in a global pandemic, where friends are not allowed to meet up, so texting and messaging is one of the only ways to connect. However, many people think that social media doesn’t allow enough time for teenagers to get out and see their friends in person.

As you can see, there are many pros and cons to social media, especially for teenagers. Some are set on the idea that social media is destroying the young generation, while others say that social media is a helpful tool for every generation, including the ones to come.