How Social Media is Affecting Dunbar

See how students of Dunbar are affected by the rise of social media.

How Social Media is Affecting Dunbar

People all across the world use social media in some way daily. And it’s getting more and more popular every day. It feels like almost everyone these days has their nose buried in their phone, watching the latest TikTok trend, or sending snaps to their friends. This massive usage of social media networks has been especially abundant in teens, including students at Dunbar. 

According to a survey by Common Sense Media, teens spend about five to seven hours a day on social media on average. They also released another survey in 2018, which said that 70% of teens check social media several times a day, compared to just 34% 5 years prior. 

These large amounts of time spent on social media have had many effects on kids, especially teenagers.

A study of more than 12,000 kids aged 13-16 in the UK showed that using social media more than three times a day often predicted poor mental health. 

“It can make you lose a lot of self-confidence. It can cause people to spend a lot of time feeling bad about themselves,” junior Tristan Herzog said.

Another study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that people who use more than seven social networking sites had 3 times the risk of depression than people who only used 2 or fewer. 

While these studies show a lot of the negative effects that social media can have, there are many benefits for kids that social media can provide as well.

Social media can allow kids to socialize with their friends more easily than ever before. It has also allowed them to be able to learn and increase their knowledge of the world around them. It’s allowed kids to be creative and show their skills. It’s allowed not just kids, but people around the world to connect at a level that has never been seen before which has definitely been a benefit. 

“It allows you to be able to connect and talk to more people around the world, or just with your friends too if that’s what you prefer,” Herzog said. 

I asked more students around the school to see how social media affects them.

“I like how it helps me keep in touch with my friends,” junior Keith Conrad said.

He was also asked about some of the negative effects it may have.

“I think one of the biggest problems with it is that it can be really addictive, and control people’s lives,” Conrad said.

When asked if he thought social media was overall a good thing or a bad thing, Conrad had a pretty mixed view.

“I don’t think it’s really good or bad, I think it’s kind of both. There are some issues with it, but there are also a lot of benefits that outweigh those issues.”

Junior Evan Slaughter had similar thoughts. 

“I think it just helps with being able to keep up with your friends and talk to them more” Slaughter said.

He also talked about the major downside of social media.

“The biggest disadvantage is the hate that people can get and the mental effects that come with that I think,” Slaughter said.

Similar to Conrad, Slaughter had an optimistic outlook on social media.

“I think it’s a good thing because of how much it lets us socialize and talk to each other,” he said.

Social media is only getting more popular by the day, and with that comes a variety of impacts, both good and bad.