Op-Ed: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Social Media


Edan Zinn

Photo illustration by Edan Zinn ’23.

Polly Zimmerman, Journalist

While social media has a positive effect, there is also a negative impact that weighs in continuously. Teenagers everywhere have adopted social media as a pastime, something to release stress and lose themselves within.

Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and so many more social media platforms consume so much of our time. It is possible to spend minutes—maybe hours—on one specific platform. Entertaining videos and photos have become incredibly accessible to all audiences, allowing the work that we as students have to complete to get pushed to the side.

In addition to students, staff also spend much of their time neglecting assignments by using social media. According to a study, eight in ten employees spend some of their time on social media doing other things.

If you’re willing to take risks and are strong enough to overcome them, social media can be a great place.

Besides, people often find themselves looking at the endless amounts of posts by internet personas—an addicting habit that is likely to result in a decline of self-esteem.

Furthermore, between society’s beauty standards and how they spread, toxicity is almost overwhelming in comment sections. People expose themselves to the “ideal” body and take extreme measures to get to the point of looking like the photos they see online.

There isn’t a way to not feel bad when you’re on social media; there just isn’t.

Parents especially are concerned about this when it comes to their children. It can become downright overbearing, though, and could quite possibly make things worse. Constantly nagging someone about something they can’t control might aggravate the situation even more.

Countless minutes are spent mindlessly thinking about one’s own appearance after seeing others who are getting countless compliments and bringing up the thought, “Am I not enough if I look like them?”

However, despite my reservations, I still find myself wondering, is everything about social media bad? After all, it is not wrong to want to pass time by watching a funny video or looking at a paragraph on sports.

As a great way to release stress, watching videos just chases negative thoughts away—maybe that would be good most of the time.

If you’re willing to take risks and are strong enough to overcome them, social media can be a great place.