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The Social Dilemma

The Effect of Social Media at WRMS

Have you noticed mental health issues increasing due to social media? Whether you have or not, studies show that increasing time on social media has caused horrible self-esteem and mental health issues. In current times social media has been negatively affecting teen and adults mental health. 

An anonymous survey was sent out to the students and faculty of WRMS. They were asked questions such as, do you think social media affects yours and other mental health, and if they have ever suffered from mental health illness. They also have a section where they could share their thoughts if they feel comfortable. The results were shocking, as most students reported they have suffered from mental illnesses. The majority of surveyed students agreed that social media has an effect on society’s mental health, but surprisingly many believe that it does not have an effect on their own mental health. 

Kinley Martinek. Blakley Walter, Averi Broxterman, and Giuliana Dawkins, sit at a table during lunch, all disconnected with each other on their phones. (Claire Blackinton)

When asked if they were comfortable sharing their experiences one responder said, “I feel like technology has affected my life and I wish I never discovered it, because before technology I would go exploring and do fun activities. Now when I hang out with my friends we don’t talk much and stare at our phones. Technology has changed my life.”  

Students at WRMS agree that social media is harmful to mental health, and so does this online research page, Online Social Networking and Mental Health. The website gives information about online addictions. Addictions online are caused by too much time on social media platforms. These addictions can have symptoms similar to drugs, alcohol, nicotine abstinence syndrome. Alongside abstinence syndrome, symptoms of depression and anxiety. These mental disorders are very serious as they can cause low self-esteem, Otler disorder, and suicide, or thoughts of suicide. 

Even students of WRMS agree that social media has had a serious effect on mental health. 8th grade STUCO student on the WAVE team, Halle Merrick, thinks mental health is seriously affected by social media. In an interview she said, “I think social media does have an effect on mental health, because it can cause things like anxiety and insecurities, and things can get spread around online”. 

Students and Teachers like, Mrs. Thornburg, the 7th grade comets reading plus teacher, also believes that social media has a negative effect on mental health. When asked if she thinks that some mental health issues would be solved if we didn’t have social media, she stated “I think that even if social media went away there would still be something that replaces it. I think the root needs to be addressed. People need to be told that they have value regardless of appearance, family, or life choices. I think there needs to be regulations on how long people can be on social media”. 

On November 5th, a poll was sent out to the students and faculty of WRMS. This is the graph results of the first question. This poll was anonymous.

Throughout WRMS there are many staff members who think that mental health can be affected by technology as well. The head counselor, Mrs. Holmes was asked if she had seen anything personally online that could cause mental health problems for kids and teens she responded, “ Unfortunately, yes. In my role as the school counselor students often bring in posts that say cruel and hurtful things. I have also viewed Tik Tok and other social media sites that make fun of certain populations of people or encourage dangerous and unsafe behaviors”.

Mental health issues can become a complication for this generation, and generations to come, and unfortunately this is a very real problem. Although, like most things, social media can be used for a lot of great things, if used incorrectly it can become dangerous for anyone who uses it. 


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