The social media struggle

Scrolling for hours on social media apps Instagram and TikTok, Junior Avan Kane’s attention span continues to decrease with a phone in her hands. Social media has caused her to be easily distracted by things on the internet instead of paying attention to the things in her real life.


Kane expresses her opinion about social media after falling victim to the screen addiction fad. 


 “[Social media is] too competitive. People will look at someone else’s pictures…comparing themselves to that person,” Kane said.


 Social media has taken over the lives of teenagers to a great extent. Whether it’s mentally or behavior wise, Kane said that social media commonly affects people’s personal lives and damages people’s self image.


“If you get too immersed into social media, your real life starts getting affected by it and real life relationships will start to be damaged,” Kane said. 


Social media has also caused teenagers to behave differently and has affected the school 



Assistant principal MacCrea Finch has noticed some behavioral issues caused by social media.


“We’ve had several TikTok challenges of where they [would] destroy the bathroom…multiple stalls were destroyed, we ran out of soap at one point in time, because the kids would rip the soap containers off of the wall and then throw them into the toilet and then they would get stuck in the toilet,” Finch said.


Throughout the school, kids use social media to fuel fights with other students.


“You’ll have kids talking to each other on [social media], and they start talking smack, and then after that they come to blows at each other in the middle of the school. The biggest problem with the issue that I’ve found with social media is that everybody wants to film fights, and so kids are gonna [encourage] other kids to get into a fight so that they can film it,” Finch said.


In addition to social media, cell phones in general have created all kinds of problems in school. 


“When that ding goes off in your pocket in the middle of class, you’d rather see what somebody’s sending you via Snapchat than actually paying attention to the teacher,” Finch said.


Finch says that phones have become a huge distraction at school and creates more problems than it solves. Social media caused a panic throughout the school spring of 2022. It started with one student telling a parent they thought there was a gun threat. Then the parent posted it to Facebook and caused parents and students to panic without confirming anything with higher authority.


“Somebody catches something on social media when they just push it out to everybody, and then everybody freaks out before they even know what’s going on,” Finch said. 


Administrators had to establish protocols in order to keep the drama caused by social media to a minimum. 


“If there’s two kids that have problems with each other, we have them block the accounts, and if it continues to happen, …the kids will gather evidence for us and show it to us so that we can educate the other side on what’s the right thing, and what’s the wrong thing to do,” Finch said. “But there is only so much we as admin can do because you can do social media anywhere at any time.” 


When weighing the positive versus negative effects of social media, Kane believes the negative outcomes affect teenagers in highschool to a great extent.


“Whenever someone’s name gets brought up people will be like, ‘Oh, let me look them up’, and they’ll start judging everything about that person,” Kane said. “Especially for people who use it as young as middle school, because everyone is hyper focused on what’s on their phones and it would just create so much drama and unneeded tension in people.”


Kane feels people should limit their time on social media to try and restrict the amount of problems it can cause. 


 “I used to be on TikTok and Twitter, and now I just have Instagram, so I think it’s just knowing your priorities. Don’t spend too much time on [social media] and don’t get too caught up,” Kane said.


While negative effects of social media are being shown, Junior Olivia Ramsay believes that social media also has a positive outcome to it. 


“It has given young teens the platform to speak their mind in a way that society has never before seen,” Ramsay said.


Finch also believes that there can be positives of social media but we as a society need to learn how to use it for good.


“Social media can be a great thing, if it’s used properly we as a civilization just need to learn what’s the right way to use social media,” Finch said.