What Are The Positive And Negative Effects of Social Media On The Everyday High Schooler?

Old Mill High School Assistant Principal, Ms. Walsh

Old Mill High School Assistant Principal, Ms. Walsh

Bailey Musser, Maddie McDermott, and Madison Ward

We asked and you answered. Above are the results.
These days, social media lies in the center of everyday life in high school.  But what is the real effect it has on students?

To some, it serves as a medium to “get in touch with friends and family I haven’t seen in a while,” says senior Richard Nukpeta when asked what the appeal of social media is.

Old Mill High School Senior, Richard Nukpeta
Old Mill High School Sophomore, Gabby Coleman
To some, social media can be a breeding ground for cruel intentions which affect our everyday lives, whether you are directly involved or not.  In our school of over 2,000 students, one screenshot of one conversation said in frustration or out of context, can cause many problems and fights within our little community.  While some manage to keep it “private so I can’t let people I don’t want to get to me,” says senior Autumn McCarthy, others can’t seem to keep the negativity away.
Take Wednesday, January 2nd for a solid example.  We all know about the fight that occurred that day, but do we all know what really caused it?  In this day and age, everyone knows about something that happened and the entire backstory five minutes after it happened.  In a heated discussion between friends, screen shots were taken, sent, and shared with half of the school before the end of the week.  In a split second of poor decision making, lives were forever changed.
“Without social media, nobody would’ve known what he said,” said sophomore Gabby Coleman.  “[There] would be no evidence without social media.”
So is social media really all that great?  According to The US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, “Seventy-seven percent of the adolescents had experienced bullying, while 68.9% had suicide ideation at presentation.”  From another statistic by stopbullying.gov, “Fifteen percent of high school students (grades 9–12) were electronically bullied in the past year.”  This may not seem like a lot, but it’s too much.
How is it that in a world where we are all so “woke”, we can’t even open our eyes to the reality of the dangers around us?
“There are both positive and negative effects of social media,” says assistant principal Ms. Walsh.  “It can help connect with peers in emergency situations but it also causes distractions, drama and conflicts for a lot of people.”
Social media; bringing us together?  Or is it ultimately tearing us apart?