The Social Media Debate

By Cameron Kelly, NHS Student Columnist


There are pros and cons to many things in life. It is also important to find the right balance with numerous things thrown at us daily. Social media is no different. There are pros and cons to social media and finding the right balance when using social media is important. How much to use social media and which apps are best or safe to use are important questions to consider.

As social media has become more intertwined with our lives, there are questions in regards to what types of social media are most appropriate for youth and adolescents. Teenagers everywhere are constantly jumping from app to app, checking their social media accounts for messages or being entertained by nonstop scrolling. As a young woman who uses social media, I can attest that there are both pros and cons to social media use by teens. The most important aspect when determining what type of social media to use is the safety of the app. More specifically, it is the boundaries and cautionary steps each individual takes to use the apps safely.

Teenagers often feel peer pressure to download apps that their friends use in order not to feel left out. Frequently, teenagers use social media apps without thinking, or worse, they use them irresponsibly. Unfortunately, social media can be used to bully or hurt others. It can also be used by people that have really bad intentions. However, by taking a few important steps to stay safe with social media, it can be used responsibly and be a great source of connecting with others. 

If social media apps are not used responsibly or with proper balance, there can be negative consequences to their use. Social media apps can have a negative impact on mental health. They can cause poor self-esteem or even depression. People often post edited or photo-shopped images that just simply are not realistic and teenagers then feel down about themselves in comparison. Scrolling through social media can also cause a cognitive overload or be mentally draining. Additionally, there can be privacy concerns with the use of social media. Keeping all of these cons to social media use in mind can help each individual make wise choices about which apps to download.

While there are numerous negatives to social media use, there are also many positives. Social media apps are how many organizations communicate and advertise with their employees or customers. Some apps can be a great way to gain increased understanding about numerous topics. They can also provide a way to connect with others. New friends, old friends, co-workers, and family can all be available with a few quick swipes. The many benefits of social media sway many people towards their increased utilization.

In conclusion, navigating the pros and cons of social media requires careful consideration. As social media continues to integrate into our daily lives, especially for youth and adolescents, safety and responsible usage must be the top priority. Although many popular apps may seem appealing, it is important to assess their impact before downloading. Irresponsible usage can lead to negative consequences. However, when approached mindfully, social media can serve as a powerful tool for communication, learning, and connection. By finding a balance and exercising caution, individuals can utilize social media benefits while minimizing its potential drawbacks, ensuring a healthier and more positive digital experience.