How Social Media Affects Young People

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How Social Media Affects Young People

Matthew Aquino, Centurion Staff

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Bucks student Ben Sloan 20, gets up in the morning, sun shining on his face as he’s ready to take on the day and what it has to offer.
He has his breakfast and a shower and then dresses up in a new outfit. Sloan promptly picks up his phone and checks all his social media.
Instead of going out on this beautiful day and being productive he sits down on his bed and turns on his gaming console.
“This is one of my normal everyday routines” said Sloan. Whether it be before school or after school Sloan said he religiously comes home from school and plays his console. If not after school he plays before he explained. He also said he looks at his phone on a regular basis throughout the day.
Social Media has been a staple in our society for many years and it surely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or even Tinder, social media like these have changed the way people interact and live their lives.
Bucks student Katie Alvarez, 23 from Southampton was asked how social media changed the way she interacted with people and said, “I feel like I’m more prone to reach out to them on Snapchat than talk to them in person. I also feel like I talk more about the things I see on there with them.”
Stephanie Gerber 21, an Education major at Bucks had her own take on social media and how it affects the youth. “It makes everyone more judgmental and I feel like everyone that has social media has definitely developed an ego.” She also explained that it’s changed the way people even meet each other and how dating has changed.
“Many times, my friends don’t even want to go to the bar and meet people, they rather just swipe right or left through a plethora of people on their phones and try to meet them through an app instead of at a social setting.”
Sloan and Gerber both agreed there’s some sort of thrill psychologically when someone ‘likes a photo’ that you posted or comments on something you posted.
Psychologists Dr. Henry Karibandi who is based in Warrington with a degree from Penn State University explained the thrill someone goes through when someone’s post on social media gets ‘liked.’ “When someone receives a like on social media, they get a rush of dopamine,” he said.
Dopamine is associated with pleasure and rewards and its released when eating food, having sex and even receiving an award for something explained Karibandi. “Essentially anytime a person receives a ‘like’ it’s a mini high that is going off in their brain. The more likes and dopamine being released the more the person craves the positive attention social media brings to them” added Karibandi.
When asked if people pay to much attention to social media Karibandi stated “Extremely to much attention and it can cause many problems psychologically.” Recent Studies have shown that certain individuals who use social media on a regular basis can cause themselves a number of psychological problems including anxiety, depression, loneliness, ADHD, and addiction said Karibandi.
Alvarez agreed completely with Karibandi and said “I think people pay too much attention to social media, especially females. We see girls on there that look like they have these glamorous lives from their relationships to their appearances without ever thinking that any of those photos could be photoshopped or that posing, lighting or any of those things could change the outlook of the picture.”
Also, most people aren’t going to post the sad aspects of their lives. I also agree and feel that it gives people a lot of anxiety and depression. Being an avid user of social media, I know myself I have felt like I have constantly missed out.
Not only does social media cause anxiety and depression but it causes people to put on sometimes a fake persona for the world to see. Alissa Roher, 21, Psychology major stated, “Yeah everyone tries to look perfect on social media.”
Sloan also added “I agree people on social media definitely try and act perfect and also try to act like they have many friends but in reality, half the people that are on their social media they haven’t event met in real life!”
When asked whether young people are using social media at too young an age, students voiced their take on it.
“I do because they should be outside playing and they’re too busy on internet devices and video games, which I guess somewhat have an aspect of social media to them because of the chatting back and forth through the game and messaging” said Gerber.
“If I had a kid the earliest, I would let them use social media would be between the ages of 15 and 16 but I’d make sure it’s on lockdown and keep an eye on it until they’re 18 and then they can do what they please” stated Roher.
“I think kids should start using social media in high school since that’s when they’re really starting to make friends to be in contact with outside of school and eventually will be leaving to move onto college” added Alvarez.
Dr. Karibandi agreed with the students but explained that because kids at a young age are using social media, they are picking up bad habits. “Texting while driving has been considered deadly ever since the start of social media and it’s a habit that needs to be stopped!”
According to The National Safety Council it’s been reported that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. One out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Social Media has had an immense impact on the way people interact and there wellbeing and will be monitored for years to come.

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