Is social media good for middle school students?

Behind the social media story

May 2021 – That is the question that is asked in a lot of young adult homes. Most parents are trying to be considerate and allow the kids to have freedom and independence, but is it really healthy for them? 

The first social media app was Six Degrees, which was released in 1997. It allows you to make a profile and become friends with other users on the internet. Six Degrees was popular, but in 2003 Tom Anderson created MySpace. MySpace was the largest social company in the world. You created a profile, and then you could become friends with other people on MySpace. The biggest thing was that you could create a blog with photos and videos. MySpace was the talk of the crowd, and almost everyone had it. They thought that it would last forever and be the most popular, but then in 2005, MySpace and its 25 million users, were sold to News Corp for a whopping $580 million, and then Facebook came down and crushed them.

The first and original purpose of Facebook was to allow Harvard students to use their “edu” emails and photos to become close with other students at the school. But now there are lots more people that use Facebook. It has become one of the biggest social media platforms ever. Then Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Buzzfeed, Pinterest, Tik Tok, and YouTube came into the game. Social media isn’t bad. It is a place to communicate and connect with relatives, friends, and even strangers. It can bring people together, and it is also fun.

But, is it all of those things for middle schoolers? 75% of middle schoolers have at least one active social media account, and 51% use their account at least once a day. That means that at least two thirds of middle schoolers have a phone with a working internet signal. When teens have a social media account, it urges them to be on it, and keep up with everything. For example, on Snapchat there are streaks, people that you snap back and forth everyday. The streaks build up as the days go by, and if you forget one day ,then you lose all your streaks. There is some pressure to keep getting on Snapchat everyday. This means that you have to spend at least 10 minutes a day on social media to get that done. Not a ton of time.

But then you also have Tik Tok, Instagram, and Pinterest. How are you going to split 10 minutes a day for all of those? For most, you can’t. This is where people start to spend more and more time on it, and it sucks them in. Being on any screen for too long is bad, but scrolling and scrolling for 1 hour on Twitter doesn’t sit well with your brain. Also, people cyberbully and insult others, and it is never good to be around that online. Most teens also have FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. No one wants to be left in the dust. This causes lots of problems too. In conclusion, Social Media has positive and negative points for teens. What works for me is setting aside 20 or 30 minutes a day that I can be on it, and that way I don’t get left behind, but I also have a stopping point so I don’t keep scrolling. That way, I can still have fun, while not getting sucked in.