The Influence of Social Media on High School Students
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
By Angela Oh
Social media platforms are essential to many high schoolers. Some popular platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube. Teens spend an average of nine hours a day on these popular apps. This can interfere with the student’s academic performance in school. Students also use these platforms to also make new friends and stay up to date with current events, while expressing themselves at the same time.
However social media distracts students from their priorities such as studying or completing homework. Because social media is so accessible, by being in the palm of our hands, students become more sidetracked. While online, a few hours can seem like a matter of seconds. This leads to several hours of lost sleep or hours wasted that students could have been studying for upcoming exams. The explore page of Instagram contains millions of entertaining videos and interesting pictures that many teens lavishly waste their time on, without even realizing.
A lot of teens have been diagnosed with FOMO or fear of missing out. They always want to be updated on what their friends and classmates are doing 24/7, so they constantly reload their feed.
I am a consumer of social media on the daily, like most high school students. From the past years of using some of these platforms, I have found myself comparing myself to other influencers on social media. This can be very problematic because our definition of “perfect” in today's society is changing. Because of social media, everybody wants to look different and like another person. Nobody is happy just the way they are and we find ourselves criticizing ourselves for the smallest things on the daily. This is very unhealthy for our self-esteem. Instead of being happy, a lot of teens are bringing themselves down for the smallest things, because they are scared that society will judge them. We try to look our best for when we upload these pictures because we don't want negative feedback from other people behind our backs. We want comments saying how good we look.
With all the negatives set aside, social media can also actually benefit students and their well being. Many high school students like to express themselves through these apps and communicate with their friends. In the social media app, Instagram, teens can share their experiences and personality through photos. This can influence other teens to become more friendly with each other and can create a positive environment. By limiting the amount of time spent on social media apps, high school students can use these apps with a positive reason behind it.