Social media is a place that allows for media anywhere to be seen around the world. A connection between people is incredibly easy over the internet. I never thought too much about how the constant use of social media could affect mental health, until recently.

I plan to major in psychology in college. Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. It’s super intriguing because it provides a deeper understanding of why humans do what they do. A deeper understanding of where a person’s behavior and thinking are needed.

The effect of social media is interesting. On one hand, social media battles loneliness and boredom through easy communication. The ability to take a peek into someone’s life through posts is very fun, coming from a user. On the other hand, the facade that social media allows people to set up creates a distorted reality. This distorted reality causes people to question their own. “Am I good enough”? “Why am I so ugly”? “I’ll never be as cool as them.”

Let’s think about who uses social media the most. Teenagers. Teenagers are super impressionable, self-conscious, and are the least self-aware of how their minds work. The second-highest cause of death by teens is suicide. People, teens especially, who are most vulnerable to being overwhelmed by their emotions: depression, anxiety, stress, need to understand why they feel the way they do. Why they do the things they do before they start using social media. Our society needs to change its perspective on mental health. A person needs to understand themselves to be successful, to be happy.

Our society is currently being damaged by widespread mental health issues. Although social media can destroy a person’s confidence and hope for the future, there are many more contributing factors to our decline. Negative feelings form in many different ways. Something as minuscule and insignificant as tripping in front of your crush. Or something with the magnitude to change who you are as a person; like childhood trauma. We need to be taught to notice and healthily act on our feelings and thoughts.

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February 1, 2021 1:28 am

Hey Alvaro, I am very impressed with your post and the unbiased points you proved. For instance, it was very important of you to note the two sides of social media, the one that is entertaining and distracts you from the world, and the other where it questions your self worth. I think it is very amusing how social media can be so bright but yet so dark at the same time.

One sentence that stands out from your post is the one where you stated the fact that suicide is the second highest cause of death for a teen. This was really important to know due to the fact that teenager’s amxiety, depression and mental illness rises when being too much on social media. Social media can really put down a person, not just teens. This a great statement you provided because it can serve as a PSA or a warning that social media is causing them to commit suicide.

Thanks for your writing, I look forward for your next post. You are great providing the two sides of a story not just one, and I really like that.


Ashley Renteria
January 11, 2021 5:30 pm

Dear Alvaro
I completely agree with your post ” The Mental Health Epidemic,” because social media has had an effect on my mental health too. I agree that social media creates a distorted reality.
One sentence you wrote that stands out to me is ” Our society needs to change its perspective on mental health.” I think this is true because social media creates a fake reality that makes people think that’s how they should be.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because this isn’t often talked about when it should be. I could relate to these types of important topics that will gladly have me back on your posts.

January 6, 2021 2:39 am

Hi Alvaro, I completely agree with what you had to say. Social media is extremely detrimental to the health of teens and you can see it everywhere. Even on sites like TikTok you will see teens posting about how sad they are or how they wished they looked like someone. Im glad someone else notices how social media negatively influences not only our generation, but the generations below us who are growing up with this at such a young age.

January 4, 2021 9:18 pm

Hi Alvaro, I really enjoyed what you said and agree with it. How social media is a place to spend time either bored or doing something and it can be for the good or bad for our mental health. As a teen mental health is a huge aspect of our lives especially during this pandemic and this can bring a lot of insights and or ideas to people to focus on yourself.

January 4, 2021 9:08 pm

Hi Alvaro, I thought your article was very interesting. I agree that teenagers are on social media way too often. My dad has always said that people spend too much time looking at other people’s lives, and not living their own. I think social media can be good in moderation since it can provide inspiration or connection. However, it is hard to have self-control with social media. It is so easy to continue scrolling and lose track of time. I often find myself using it as an escape to distract my mind from stress. This leads to procrastination. On social media, it’s natural that people only show the highlights. It paints a picture of a perfect life. I think this can have a negative impact on mental health when people start to compare themselves. I think you brought up a great conversation since this is something that is not really talked about. Teenagers, myself included, don’t like to admit that they are on their phones too much. I liked how you said, “we need to be taught to notice and healthily act on our feelings and thoughts”.

Hannah Pecharich
December 28, 2020 9:25 am

Hi Alvaro, I’m interested in your post about mental health and its tie to social media. Your points are valid and highly important, as social media use continues to expand and mental illness with it. I resonate especially with your weighing of social media’s pros and cons, for it both “battles loneliness and boredom through easy communication” and “ allows people to set up creates a distorted reality.” When social media sets up a simple, but temporary, solution to feelings of loneliness, boredom, etc., it cultivates non-interactive tendencies and avoidance of said feelings. The twisted reality sets in as customized images and messages become more impactful than physical connections. Less reliance on social media needs to be promoted, and the emotions that are often soothed by it acknowledged as human and better remedied by human interaction. Thank you for prompting a conversation about social media and mental health, and I’d love to read your future posts.

Sincerely, Hannah

December 19, 2020 9:46 pm

Hi Alvaro, I am intrigued by your article because of your opinions on the effect social media has on people. I also liked how you brought up that social media has benefits as well. One thing you said that stands out for me is: “People, teens especially, who are most vulnerable to being overwhelmed by their emotions: depression, anxiety, stress, need to understand why they feel the way they do. Why they do the things they do before they start using social media. ” I think this is a good point, but I also think that although suicide rates are high amongst teens the blame should not go to social media. Kids create a lot of their own issues by not taking care of stuff that hurts them. Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time I had to write an essay on whether I though social media was good or bad for teens mental health. I think that kids mental has always been an issue and while the creation of social media doesn’t help it I don’t think it hurts it either. All kids when they are having a hard time struggle to tell people and that’s their own fault. Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you offer a great opinion on social media. The mental health issues of teens is a big issue and needs to be more heavily discussed.

December 19, 2020 6:22 am

Hi Alvaro. I really agree with what you had to say. I think that social media is a great thing it can entertain someone for hours where they would just be bored and losing their mind but at the same time it can destroy a person. The reasons for that is I believe it can be very toxic if you are in the bad place of mind. I think that its deeper than just social media bad I think if people are going through something and do not really love themselves then social media will just amplify that feeling when they see others having a great time. I really think your take is interesting and it made me look at it differently and it is important to look at mental health.

December 17, 2020 4:49 am

Hi Alvaro, I was very intrigued with your article and the coverage you put on social media today. I agree a lot with what you are saying. I thought it was interesting to put the aspect of not using social media as much until a teen has a grasp on themselves and their mental health. I feel as if that reflects the notion of learning to love yourself in a way. Personally, as a teen, mental health is a huge thing going on in my life and many others. I looked through the article below and I thought the information in there connected well with what you are saying in your article. Thanks for your writing and I appreciate the additional information about mental health connected with social media.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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