Social media has played a major role in society but not necessarily a positive one. I believe that social media should be banned for various reasons such as mental health/self-image, cyber security and addictiveness. Kids and teenagers from ages 12-15 spend 5-7 and a half hours on social media a day. (Darmanjian) Spending that much time on social media each day can be detrimental to a person’s life which is why it should be banned. Prohibiting social media can have a huge positive impact on kids and teens’ daily lives.
Over the years, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. (Robinson and Smith) People often have a hard time cutting out or cutting back on social media because they feel a sense of disconnection, but it has shown to be extremely beneficial for a person’s mental health. After the cut back they get more sleep, a huge increase in productivity, become more confident, reduce stress and more. A great example of social media taking a toll on mental health is a story about two teenage girls named Jennifer Leonforte and Gabby Lennett. They became friends in middle school when Instagram, Facebook and smartphone use really started to blossom. The girls soon became extremely obsessed with body image and would airbrush selfies that they would post online. The pattern of seeing “perfect bodys” on the internet resulted in their attempts at suicide. (Hamilton) In conclusion, social media is the outlet for mental and body image problems for teenagers all over the world.
Another solid argument on the dangers of social media is on cyber security. Social media might seem like a harmless way to interact with peers but behind closed doors it’s a completely different world and extremely unsafe for minors. It is a known fact that 90 percent of people post information related to their personal and professional lives online.(Das) So, using social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are outlets for child grooming and hackers. Social media gives predators access to young children and more than 50% of grooming victims are ages 12 to 15. 89% of those victims were contacted by online predators through chat rooms and instant messaging. More than 1 million children become victims of identity theft or fraud each and every year. (“Internet Safety for Kids”) By banning social media it keeps the kids away from these issues and parents will no longer worry about how their kids can be impacted.
My last and final reason on why social media should be banned is on how social media is extremely additive. Social media is just as addictive as gambling or even drugs and is classified as a “behavioral addiction.” Studies have shown that the constant stream of liking, tweeting, commenting and sharing triggers a chemical in the brain called dopamine. In fact, neuroscientists have compared social media interactions to a syringe of dopamine being injected straight into the person’s system. (“Social Media Addiction”) Constant social media users start to drift away from things and people they love and can eventually lead to internal problems such as ignoring relationships, failing school, missing work and not prioritizing their health. For the people from ages 18-29 who are the most common social media users, it would be the better choice to ban social media for their health and safety.
Ultimately, social media is a toxic environment where it is normalized to compare your body, accomplishments and values to others and I believe that when social media starts to become a problem, like how it is, it should be banned. Research has revealed that social media is a place where people are exposed to multiple mental health issues as well as hackers and online predators and opens the doors to behavioral addiction. “I feel social media can be very distracting, unhealthy, and harmful to one’s self-confidence.” – Rupi Kaur. In the end, social media can never be trusted and should be erased from society for everyone’s safety.
KOAA News5 Colorado Springs and Pueblo news, traffic, and weather, https://www.koaa.com/. Accessed 4 March 2022.
“• Canada: social media user age & gender distribution 2021.” Statista, 28 January 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1047732/age-distribution-of-social-media-users-canada/. Accessed 8 March 2022.
Darmanjian, Sarah. “Kids, teens, and social media.” NEWS10 ABC, 1 November 2021, https://www.news10.com/news/kids-teens-and-social-media/. Accessed 2 March 2022.
Das, Ankush. “Hacking Humans: 5 Ways You Can Be Exploited on Social Media.” MakeUseOf, 31 May 2021, https://www.makeuseof.com/social-media-used-for-human-hacking/. Accessed 4 March 2022.
Hamilton, Lexy. “’You look fat in everything’: Friends say teenage self loathing set them on path to depression.” ABC, 7 October 2018, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-08/friends-say-self-loathing-social-media-set-path-to-depression/10337414. Accessed 3 March 2022.
“Internet Safety for Kids.” Wizer Security Awareness Training, https://www.wizer-training.com/guides/kids-internet-safety. Accessed 4 March 2022.
Malik, Kaustav. “Why does social media need to be banned?” Quora, https://www.quora.com/Why-does-social-media-need-to-be-banned. Accessed 2 March 2022.
McLeod, Simone. “60 Social Media Quotes That Remind You to Live (2021).” Everyday Power, 9 February 2022, https://everydaypower.com/social-media-quotes/. Accessed 8 March 2022.
Robinson, Lawrence, and Melinda Smith. “Social Media and Mental Health.” HelpGuide.org, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm. Accessed 8 March 2022.
“Social Media Addiction.” Addiction Center, 17 December 2021, https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/. Accessed 7 March 2022.