Social media and anxiety: A strong correlation


Wendy Caldera

The Power of Social Media: With the rise of social media usage, students are left with many feelings such as anxiety. As teens navigate from one platform to another, the pressure of looking or acting a certain way is strong. “I don’t like the fact that everywhere you go you find the urge to post it online,” Rodolfo Serrano, a senior, said.

Wendy Caldera, Social Media Editor

Social media has become the main source of communication and entertainment for today’s youth-the most popular being Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, and Twitter. 

Social media is also crowned as the worst place to be if you have poor mental health. Knowing this, why is it still so popular? Addiction. That feeling of not wanting to miss out. Inclusion. The majority of people have it, and others do not want to feel left out, so they download it as well.

Since quarantine began, screen time amongst youth has skyrocketed. There is a correlation between the increase in technology usage and diagnosed anxiety, a mental health disorder. “Anytime you have a reaction that doesn’t match the situation.” Ms. Hernandez, a school psychologist, said.

Social media was created as a way for users to communicate and share memories. People are able to express themselves by posting art they created, videos of them singing or dancing, and so much more. It allows companies to reach broader audiences and expand their brand. Organizations can also inform the public about upcoming events. 

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Bianca Arellano, a seventh-grader, uses social media for different reasons. When she logs on, she is “excited to see what is on there.” Arellano uses Instagram to share memories, Snapchat to communicate with friends, and TikTok to keep up with the latest trends.

People who suffer from social anxiety can use social media as a way to express themselves comfortably without having to face people. 

However, like all good things, social media also has its flaws. Throughout time, it has shifted into a competition of who can receive the most likes, comments, and shares. To achieve this people retake photos multiple times, use a filter, or even photoshop. 

As for those who have social anxiety, it harms them in the long run. People may become dependent on being behind a screen, meaning they never develop the social skills needed to interact with others face-to-face.

Whether social media has more positive or negative effects will always be up for discussion. Rodolfo Serrano, a senior, is a strong advocate against social media. “People communicate less when out for dinner. Most of the time, people only go out to post which is very sad in my opinion,” Serrano said. 

How can one cope with such anxiety? The most obvious, but most difficult, is to limit screen time. It is easy for one to keep scrolling and when they least expect it, they notice that hours have flown by. If people find it challenging, Ms. Hernandez advises that people limit themselves to one app. This app could be the one that is most resourceful. It’s all about taking small steps.

 “I try to paint and that has helped me a lot, and I just try to be alone with my own thoughts and help myself with it,” Zictlaly Pelayo, a senior, said. Finding something that people like to do can take their mind off of constantly wanting to check their socials.

Social media is evolving every day. It may look completely different in a few years from what it looks like today. Use it and have fun, but remember to prioritize mental wellness.