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Javier Real

Senior English

Mrs. Figueroa


The Negative Impacts Social Media Has On Society

The reality of social media is that it has a negative influence on society. In many ways,

social media started out with a positive outlook then tuned negative as the years went by. Social

media is websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate

in social networking. It was created to share content and connect with family, friends and

occupations. The birth of social media was believed to in 1997 and was known as Six Degrees.

Ever since the first form of social media has been created, other forms such as Myspace leading

into Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and more. Ever since then social media has evolved

just as much as technology. As social media and technology evolve, their updates keep people

engaged, and consistently wanting more. It is used amongst all people of all ages for dating,

communication and the work force. Although, it has many positive impacts` on society, it has

taken a recent downfall. People rely on social media too much when it comes to communication

and are starting to become addicted.

On the other hand, others believe that social media has many positive impacts on society.

Advertising, social networking and self-expression all show value to a positive impact on

society. If society does not make themselves fully aware of the issues derived from social media,

I believe that it will impact teenagers negatively. Acceptance by others and the ones closest to us

drives our human nature to be affected by it. Sooner, rather than later, the rate of teenagers being

affected will go up and will increase. Social media platforms would improve if they took the
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time to look at the effects of what they created. Not just to make it better for the entertainment

side of it, but for us as a society in general. There are many negative influences caused by social

media such as mental health issues, body image and communication issues.

Social media can negatively impact ones mental health. People spend large amounts of

time using social media and it affects many aspects of their lives. “The percentage of teens who

engage with social media multiple times a day rose from 34% in 2012 to 70% in 2018. 16%

report using social media “almost constantly,” and another 22% say they use it several times an

hour”(Anderson). Statistically, the numbers are growing like a virus and engagement is what is

affecting mental health. People are letting social media become more of a routine than a source

of entertainment. “More time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they were to

have problems sleeping and report symptoms of depression” (University of Pittsburg). Now that

the popularity of social media is upon us, negative impacts like anxiety and depression start to

arise. Issues involving focusing on likes, cyberbullying, making comparisons and less face to

face communication with others can lead to the downfall. This is not just a mental thing that

happens a person can be affected physically by the lack of sleep. “It is believed that the more

time young adults spent on social media the more likely they were to have problems sleeping and

experience symptoms of depression”( Siddiqui,Fabiha ). Sleep is a necessity in a teen’s life

because of school and their mental health. These are only a few of the issues we face on a day to

day basis. Our brain, as complicated as it, is keeps a lot of information stored with emotions and

sometime does not start surfacing until later. We may not recognize that social media is a part of

our downfall but it truly can be.

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Social media opens a gateway to insecurities of body image. The way someone views

themselves starts with how others view them. “Teens who are active online worry a lot about

how they're perceived. In fact, body dissatisfaction appears to be on the rise in the United State.

Examples of negative teen body image are all over the Web. In YouTube videos, kids ask an

Internet audience to tell them if they're pretty or ugly” (Knorr). Understanding that no one’s

opinion about the way that person looks matters starts at the home. “In adolescence, self-

consciousness and the need for peer-validation are at their height, and the Internet acts as a kind

of "super peer," providing a quick route to satisfying both concerns. But no one knows how all

this criticism and judgment affect teens' body image” (Knorr). Social media is turning into

something that teens start to look up to, especially the celebrities or peers. Paying attention to the

small details in a teen’s life may help them overcome many personal problems. Parents are

majority of the time oblivious to what their children interest or who they hang out with, or what

occupies their down time. It is important nowadays that parents build a strong rapport with their

children because of how much information social media teaches them at an early age.

Finally, social media creates a wedge in face to face communication. Society is starting to

forget what it is like to have human interaction. “The number of face-to-face interactions is not

the only thing that has been negatively impacted. The quality of these decreasing interactions are

suffering as well. People are not having these intimate conversations and personal interactions

with each other anymore” (“The Negative Impacts”). Conversations are starting to become more

awkward and losing the quality it used to have back when social media was not around. “Studies

have shown that people have less interest in interacting with other people both in similar age

groups, and with people that are in other age groups. The world has changed into a society that is

complacent sitting behind our computer screens. Social media is a leading cause of this
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complacency” (“The Negative Impacts”). People prefer to communicate online rather than in

person because of social media. All in all, putting the phone down and realizing the beauty of

what is in front of them and living in the moment is being lost.

Along with this information, what people don’t understand is that it is not just in a

community or the area they live, social media is spread throughout the world. Social media, is

accessible to people of all ages “Almost a quarter of the world’s population is now on Facebook.

In the USA nearly 80% of all internet users are on this platform. Because social networks feed

off interactions among people, they become more powerful as they grow” (Gaitho, Maryanne).

As the source of interactions increase it can become easy to get things out faster and more

efficient. We find ourselves loosing face to face communication and interactions with each other.

“One of the effects of social media is encouraging people to form and cherish artificial bonds

over actual friendships. The term ‘friend’ as used on social media lacks the intimacy identified

with conventional friendships, where people actually know each other, want to talk to each other,

have an intimate bond and frequently interact face to face” (Gaitho, Maryanne). The friendships

or relationships made over the internet are not genuine and sure.

Many people see otherwise, and see the benefits of social media and its positive impacts.

Communication can be utilized through these social sites from any distance on any service. “The

first and main advantage of the social media is connectivity. People from anywhere can connect

with anyone. Regardless of the location and religion. The beauty of social media is that you can

connect with anyone to learn and share your thoughts” (Ahmad). In society, being able to

express yourself is valuable when accomplishing a common goal. The awareness of societal

causes that affect our community can be spread and helped through social media. “Social media

can also be used for the noble causes. For example, to promote an NGO, social welfare activities
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and donations for the needy people. People are using social media for donation for needy people

and it can be a quick way to help such people” (Ahmad). Social media helps with promotional

messages for good causes and current news. Once these social sites get to their peak people see

the benefits that they can gain from using these sites. “The increasing popularity of social sites

like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, social networks has gained attention as the most viable

communication choice for the bloggers, article writers and content creators” Social media opens

up a gateway for bloggers, article writers and content creators to be able to express themselves

and be able to receive more information. Many believe that in many ways, it is making a

positive impact on society.

In addition, the positive impacts only vary. Individuals can seek help instead of feeling

alone and unheard. “Lives are not only saved only by 24-hour suicide prevention hotlines.

Spreading awareness and motivating people is important too. And simply assuring people that

they are not alone – or the only ones with their set of problems – can be really important for

some” (Sharma). Social media gives people opportunities to reach out if they ever need it. It can

be used as a learning to tool without having to pay someone. “It has become very easy to get

knowledge from renowned experts and professionals through the social media. You can easily

follow anyone to boost your knowledge. Regardless of your educational background, you can

learn various skills without paying for them” (Sharma). The skills learned by these various

sources, can help improve their own knowledge that is within their niche. The most beneficial

thing about social media is that it’s able to bring the world to your front door. “One of the good

things about social media is its power to open the world up to you, making it a smaller place than

it has ever been before”(Parrack, Dave). You’re able to see things that you may not be able to

afford to see in person. A picture may not be what is in front of you but it speaks a thousand
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words. It even applies to old friend’s new friends and family that move away, you’re still able to

be connected and keep up with them no matter the distance. “Friends you haven’t seen since

school, and who have since moved away, are able to keep in touch” ( Parrack, Dave). Keeping in

touch with people is important so you don’t feel left out or become an outcast. Social media

keeps on showing on how it benefits society more than tears in down.

Nevertheless, my point still stands because social media does in fact negatively affect

society more than it does benefit it. The negatives out way the positive because of society’s

downfall. The cover up is that social media feeds off of people’s needs and wants to try to get

them to see things that are not realistic. During the social media era, studies show that

symptom’s from social media’s negative effects, have increased. If you have ever seen a

commercial for a new pill that comes out, all of the symptoms are read at end and read in a fast

manner. This is because they are trying to make sells and get their product out there. Yes it might

be a beneficial to some but the negative effects can also effect many others. It is just like with

social media everyone wants to try it because of all the pop up words like “MUST TRY” or “IT

IS AMAZING” but in actuality after a long use people start to the see the effects. And just like

the pills it might only effect some but it can do a lot of damage to others. These people that are

involved are easy to influence teens that do not know any better. It corrupts teen’s thoughts and

mentally affects them in the long run weather it being socially or mentally.

In conclusion, social media has taken a toll on today’s society. Depression and anxiety

are one of the top symptoms of social media gone wrong. Getting better as a society should be

the number one goal. Instead society looks past all the bad and just focuses on how to upgrade

the new features. If society plans on progressing in a positive way it needs to take care of the

negatives first. The negative influences caused by social media such as mental health issue, body
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image and communication issues are the reasons hold the progress back.

Work Cited

“7 Ways That Social Media Is Affecting Us Positively.” Curatti, 13 Feb. 2018,


Ahmad, Bilal. “10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media for Society -.”

TechMaish- Blogging, 10 Mar. 2016, www.techmaish.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-


Anderson, Jenny. “More Teens Would Rather Text Their Friends than Hang out

IRL.” Quartz, Quartz, 10 Sept. 2018, qz.com/1379989/do-teens-spend-too-much-time-on-


Keith. “The History of Social Media: Social Networking Evolution!” History

Cooperative, Jegtheme, 6 July 2018, historycooperative.org/the-history-of-social-media/.

“The Negative Impacts of Social Media on Face-to-Face Interactions.” Final Inquiry

Project, rampages.us/peasedn200/2015/12/01/final-inquiry-project/.

Knorr, Caroline. “Is Social Media Giving Your Teen a Negative Body Image?”

Common Sense Media: Ratings, Reviews, and Advice, Common Sense Media, 28 Apr. 2014,



“Social Media's Impact On Society.” The Odyssey Online, 18 Dec. 2017,