Social Media: Is It A Safe Online Environment for Teenagers?

Trysta Davis, Staff Writer

Today, teenagers turn to Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, etc. when bored and looking for entertainment. But, is this a safe use of our spare time? Let’s discuss the positives and negatives of social media.  

Many relationships are strengthened through social media.  Teenagers use these platforms to follow friends and remain updated on their lives. They also provide a creative outlet for many to express themselves. Social media platforms also allow teenagers to experience and learn about things that they might otherwise not be able to see.  This helps them to expand their horizons, open their minds, and learn more about the world.

 One of the most prominent problems within social media is cyber-bullying. Most have experienced, or witnessed, how harmful it can be.  Freshman Olivia Cervantes said, “I think that social media is a great place for cyberbullies to tell you that you don’t look pretty in that photo…it causes you to think wrongly about yourself instead of thinking what is great about yourself.” 

 Social media is mostly used to highlight the best moments in life. Participants rarely post about the “imperfect” moments. This can lead followers to think negatively about themselves and cause depression. 

So, how can we enjoy the pros of Social media while staying safe from the cons? One of the easiest ways is to create a private account. This will allow you to have control over who sees your posts and private information. 

Next,  limit your time and the things you view on social media. Junior Mckayla Archibald suggests to “… only look at appropriate things and do not get discouraged at what other people are doing that you are not.” Be yourself and avoid comparisons.

 Finally, keep it enjoyable by remaining positive in your participation. Sophomore Hallie Page says, “Use social media to post uplifting messages to brighten someone’s day and make them feel good about themselves.”

Social media clearly has its pros and cons. You have the power to make it what you want, so be creative, be safe, be smart, and be yourself.