Do Social Media Benefits Outweigh the Consequences?


Auliʻi Anuenue Medeiros, Staff Reporter

Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. These are all popular social media platforms that many of us either use or are familiar with. But is that necessarily a good thing?

About 4.74 billion people use some form of social media and it’s no surprise that plenty of people get lured into these platforms. They were created to build connections and communicate with people far and wide and are often used as a form of entertainment and self-expression. This is how most people view their social media apps, but maybe they just need a change in perspective to realize that it isn’t all that good.

When listed out, there are many more consequences than benefits when it comes to online presence. Most of these negative impacts can be separated into three main categories: problems originating from social media, health concerns, and personal impact.

There are numerous problems with social media and it is difficult to believe that there was a time when they didn’t exist—when social media didn’t exist. Some of these issues include cyberbullying, unrealistic expectations, and peer pressure. Although a certain variation of these problems existed before social media, the intensity of these problems’ negative impact has skyrocketed.

Another factor to consider is health concerns. Within the past week, have you had a sore neck or back? Are your eyes sore? Any headaches? Have you felt extra drowsy? These are all side effects of using social media for a prolonged amount of time. Social media is also proven to increase rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. The majority of people don’t realize how much time they spend on their devices and the effect it has on their health. The average amount of screen time people spend on social media every day is 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, for teens (ages 13-18), the daily average shoots up to 7 hours and 22 minutes. Next time you’re on your phone, check your screen time. Is it a reasonable number?

The third category of negative effects from social media is personal impact, which I believe is the most important to focus on. Some aspects of life that social media can affect are self-esteem, social skills, relationships, implementation of bad habits, along with other aspects like family, sports, school, etc.

When you think about it, the list only gets longer from here. Are the benefits of social media worth what it is costing you?