How social media has impacted growing up


A. Sannipoli

Rather than spending time in their rooms on social media, teenagers used to have to call their friends to see them. As generations go on, the way we see one another becomes less personal.

Avery Sannipoli, Staff Reporter

Today’s generation has lost touch with reality. All of our days are consumed with hours we waste on our phones. While it is easy to argue that this does not affect everyone, it affects teenagers enough to have become an issue. It is easy to recognize a decrease in confidence and an increase in mental health issues since social media became a part of teenagers’ daily lives. When someone posts a picture, they are constantly refreshing their page waiting for comments and likes to flood in, as a form of affirmation. This is also referred to as positive intermittent reinforcement: where you do not know if or when you are going to get something positive, but when you do it increases your mood. Social media  is all just one mind game. 

  Most teenagers today communicate with their friends through platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram, more often than physically seeing them. However, when these same teenagers’ parents were growing up, life was not this way at all. If someone wanted to hang out with their friends, they would pick up the phone (which was attached to the wall) and call their friend to see them. In addition to this, most teenagers had their friends’ phone numbers memorized, whereas we just have a contact list in our phone. It is common for students to know people from schools other than their own. For some of our parents growing up, the only people they knew were those at their school or from their neighborhood. While this was not the case for everyone, it was common. 

  One of the main things that upsets people today is the lack of romance. Thirty years ago, there was no way to text someone and tell them you were at their house to pick them up. Your date would have to walk to your front door and often talk to a parent before actually beginning their evening. Today, people have gotten into a habit of sneaking around and discussing plans through social media. Many teeangers in relationships have never even been on a date because that is not how people tend to begin relationships anymore. It is also easy to see who someone is following, who they talk to, and what they like on social media. People often will look at other social media posts and wish they looked how the person in the picture does, but it is hard to tell what is real. With the use of Photoshop, it is easy for people to change how they look completely to their followers. 

  The use of social media has become a bigger issue than people are willing to admit. Teeangers dedicate hours each day to scrolling through social media. Senior Aisling Palko said, “My daily [screen time] average is 7 hours a day. I think it is this high because usually I watch Netflix when I do homework, and I definitely spend too much time texting friends and scrolling through TikTok.” Platforms such as Google, Youtube, Netflix, Instagram, and Snapchat benefit off of our wasted time on them. Due to this, teenagers will continue to waste their days away on social media, rather than connect with the world around them as most teenagers did thirty years ago.