Take a minute to stop scrolling, liking and posting on social media. Just be present. This is something society has forgotten how to do since the creation of social media. As social platforms have begun to grow in recent years, people have become conditioned to compare themselves to others. Humans lose their capability to explore their individualism by the constant presence of media, weakening their control to avoid social norms by becoming accustomed to the unrealistic expectations of social media. Media pressures people to oppress their individuality in hopes of protecting themselves from judgment and moving up on the social ladder. Our society has taken happiness out of how many likes and comments you get on a post which has taken a toll on how we view our personal worth. 

The pressure of social media causes “teenagers to believe that they need to fit this “perfect image,” that they can achieve online, even if that is not their true persona. They can be whoever they want to be behind a screen. This can become exasperating work; having to keep up with these different personalities.” (Heinlein). Mindsets like these pose a threat to young undeveloped minds. Rapidly developing technology is hurting the human psyche because we are not adapting to peer pressure as fast as technology is growing. “They think being different or unique might not be acceptable to everyone, which dulls people’s sense of their individuality.” (Heinlein). A survey by the Royal Society of Public Health found that people ranging from 14-24 years old, that are members of social media platforms, have been impacted by mental health issues. “The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all led to increased feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and poor body image.” (Rsph). 

“Children today are living in a society that has a social media presence in almost everything they see online. The influence that it has over their developing minds is not something to be taken lightly” (Zainal). If we really think about it, the media has an overpowering influence on our opinions. Unfortunately, creators never thought about the outcome of these new social forums. When hundreds of comments, ideas and opinions come together they create something called the “hive mindset”. “The hive mind is defined as “a collective consciousness, analogous to the behavior of social insects. Such a group mentality characterized by uncritical conformity and loss of a sense of individuality and personal accountability.” (Zainal). In other words, this information we are constantly being fed unconsciously persuades those users who are neutral but impressionable. 

Working to limit exposure time can lead to a significant change in the way social media controls our lives. Whether that be in our children’s lives, our lives or the lives of a friend, we are never truly free from the bondage of our internet communities. Social networking will always be one step ahead of us to create the most oppressing and addictive poison fed to us through a screen. 

Works Cited

Heinlein, Heidi. “Delete: How Social Media Is Eliminating Individuality.” Periscope,            https://www.chsperiscope.com/uncategorized/2019/02/07/delete-how-social-media-is-eliminating-individuality/#.  

Rsph. “Instagram Ranked Worst for Young People’s Mental Health.” RSPH, https://www.rsph.org.uk/about-us/news/instagram-ranked-worst-for-young-people-s-mental-health.html

Zainal, Hayati. “Social Media Is Killing Individualism.” Medium, Predict, 14 Apr. 2020, https://medium.com/predict/social-media-is-killing-individualism-d374d3d6a576           

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September 22, 2022 4:50 am

Dear Hannah

I’m impressed by your writing “Digital Poison” because I do think social media platforms are doing more bad than good to our generation. I agree people have a herd mentality 
cause they want to feel validated. One sentence you wrote that I found interesting was The pressure of social media causes “teenagers to believe that they need to fit this “perfect image,” that they can achieve online, even if that is not their true persona.” I think this is true because within my school I know people use filters or good lighting to come off a certain way. Every teenager seems to post they are living the best life but yet depression seems to be a big problem among us, teenagers. Thanks for your writing, I look forward to what you write next because I like the connections you make with social media and our mental health. I liked how you mention herd mentality and depression.

Ricardo 

November 4, 2021 3:39 pm

Dear Hannah
I am impressed by your post “Digital Poison” because it talks about the effects it has on us.  I am reminded that most of us, including me, spend way too much time on our digital devices.  It’s like we are addicted to a screen and we can’t live or can’t spend a day without using one.
One sentence that stands out to me is “Children today are living in a society that has a social media presence in almost everything they see online.” This quote is so true because I see kids around me, and instead of playing outside or with other kids, they’re just on their phones.  Kids at a young age have developed a phone privilege. I did not see this kind of behavior when I was younger.
Thank you for writing.  I look forward to hearing what you have next, because this is a very interesting subject. Socializing verbally and physically will always be better than texting.  All in all thank you for informing me. 
Neftaly Mateos

Sayra
November 1, 2021 9:45 pm

Dear Hannah your post caught my attention, I am glad that you wrote about the effects social media has on young people. This is something more people should know, you perfectly described what social media is like now and days. It is sad to say that people are losing themselves just trying to fit into this so called perfect society.

This part of your post caught my attention ” Our society has taken happiness out of how many likes and comments you get on a post which has taken a toll on how we view our personal worth” I totally agree with this because I’ve seen many people lose confidence in themselves for not getting enough comments or likes on a social media post, people should not have to rely on others to feel better about themselves. I believe that everyone is unique in their own way and the only way to truly be happy is to have self love.

October 29, 2021 7:18 pm

I really enjoyed reading this! The intro grabbed my attention because I am someone that has issues on social media and could also be addicted. Very well told! Nice job

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