Social Media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are negatively impacting teenagers mental health statuses. Anxiety and depression surrounds highschool students, much of it being caused by social media. Since it has only been around for 40 years, people are still learning how to use proper Internet etiquette. Anybody can figure out how to post a picture, but people need to learn is how to treat other people on the app.
Woodland phycology teacher, Lisa Olivere, explains how it takes a village to overcome the problems that social media has been bringing to the world.
“Social Media was designed that way to addict people,” Olivere says.“Addicting platforms are demanding student’s attention and taking away the valued time they have.”
For the new generation, all they seem to know is social media. There has been such a lack of personal communication because of social media. More online communication leads to cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying has been more common lately than regular bullying. Many kids and teens would rather hurt another behind a screen than face to face. Because there is less real life communication. This could lead to the fact that more of the bullinging is through social media. Social media user Isabella Bianchini agrees.
“Cyberbullying to me means you don’t have the courage to personally confront somebody, “said Bianchini. “You do it on a screen instead of facing someone one on one.”
A mean comment on a screen, can trigger anxiety and depression. Although cyberbullying can not be ended, it is important to be available to help those who are being cyberbullied and be there for them.
“Some students don’t have that outlet to go to, they are not as close with there moms, dads, guardians, and friends so they don’t always have that capability to go to someone,” Bianchini says, “In order to help someone that’s being cyberbullied you don’t necessarily need to know what they’re going through in order to be an outlet for them to come to you and be happy and have comfort in what your there to offer them.”
According to Olivere, Woodland created the advisory program so students have a group of other students to confide in. The advisor should be a staff member in the building the student can trust. In programs like advisory and clubs/sports with a healthy environment will teach students how to be better people in real life. Once students learn to treat others with respect, then they will be able to do the same on social media.
Cyberbullying is a huge part in today’s society. It is important to help those who are struggling. How people treat others may not change, but overcoming cyberbullies is the first step to stopping anxiety and depression.