Do you think social media is more beneficial or not?


Ava Czerniak

IN SCHOOL DISTRACTION: Students choose social media over school work.

Ava Czerniak, Author

Have you ever thought about what social media does to a student’s performance in school? Or how bad social media actually is? 

Social media does have some positive effects on students but there are negative effects that not many people talk about enough. Since social media has become so popular, more students tend to be on their phones instead of paying attention during class or they choose social media over doing their homework. This can also affect who a teenager pretends to be in school; they might pretend to be someone behind a screen without anyone knowing. 

What apps have the most to do with these issues; is social media more negative or positive? 

Social media platforms, such as Tik Tok and Snapchat play a big role in these issues. “ I think that Snapchat is detrimental to people’s lives because everyone is so focused on whether or not their snapchat has been opened or how come the person has not replied. Instead of spending time on the beauty of the world around them, or English class, everyone is focused on ‘why hasn’t so and so opened my snap,’ ” Mr. Murphy, a teacher here at WMS stated. 

Although there is such a negative stigma attached to social media, if used the correct way, social media can be a positive for many people. Miss Davidson, a counselor at WMS said, “I think if you’re using social media the correct way or in a positive way, it might be a benefit for you.”   However, oftentimes many students do not know how to use it positively and the addictive nature of the apps take over.

Most teenagers use social media the wrong way, “Social media could be awesome, it could be a tool that people used to communicate with others across the state or across the country, instead everybody uses it to take videos of themselves dancing or send a picture of the bottom of their face and write streaks on it for no reason at all. I think it is not good for students especially, but people as a whole,” Murphy said.  

Social media can definitely be negative or positive, it just depends on what you put out there. 64% of Americans say social media has mostly a negative effect on the way things are going in the U.S today.  “It definitely has a negative effect because nobody is going to post something terrible going on in their lives or something they’re struggling with, they’re only going to post the good stuff because there is always an expectation. It’s negative because you’re basically faking your life to please others.” Davidson commented. 

Many students like Anjele Alston, Jhamir Crippen and Elacy Cruz also agree that Snapchat, Instagram and Tik Tok are major factors contributing to a decline in school work. 

Most teenagers focus on their social media rather than their school work. 54% of teenagers say it’s too hard to give up on social media, while about 46% say it would be at least somewhat easy. 

Younger teens, 13-14 years old say it would be difficult, rather than 15-17 year olds say it would be somewhat difficult. 

Anjele Alston, an 8th grader at WMS said she thinks that depending on what social media, some things posted can be positive.  Alston added, “I focus more on school than social media because I think school is actually going to get me somewhere, so I can do social media on my own time.” 

Do you think Covid sparked these issues? 

Many think that quarantine sparked some kind of issue in ruining social/communication skills. Elacy Cruz, another 8th grader at WMS said, “Covid helped spark these issues because in quarantine we couldn’t really see each other so that ruined our social skills.” 

The pandemic also had a negative effect on students because students spent way more time on social media out of boredom, “Covid helped spark these problems with social media because it made more teenagers feel very jealous for not getting invited to things or just being jealous of others,” Jhamir Crippen commented. 

However, Crippen also claimed that social media has more of a positive effect on him because “all of the influencers can teach me a lot about life”. 

Many think social media has been ruined throughout the years, but that’s debatable for others. “No, I think that social media has been a negative influence on everyone, long before covid started. Do I think that covid made things worse, probably because kids went from spending as much time on social media and when quarantine happened, the only place kids could go was social media.” Murphy said. 

Do you hide your true identity online? 

Hiding behind a screen can definitely change how a person acts or who someone pretends to be in school, “If someone is faking who they are on a social platform where people aren’t seeing the actual photo, if they feel like they have to cover up who they are on that where they aren’t seeing anyone’s reaction to it when they post that. Then, when they are around people then they really have to alter themselves and they’re not sticking true to themselves, they are not getting a chance to love themselves,” Mr.Maneri, an 8th grade math teacher at WMS said. 

Social media can also be negative for those who feel the need to change their identity online, “Social media definitely has a negative effect because nobody is going to post something terrible going on in their lives or something they’re struggling with, they’re only going to post the good stuff because there is always an expectation. It’s negative because you’re basically faking your life to please others,” Miss Davidson commented. 

Davidson added, “Especially for those kids who people know and I think you’re setting yourself up more to be made fun of or more to be targeted because people know who you really are. Being able to hide behind a phone and pretend is an easy thing.” 

Jahmir Crippen said, “Using filters isn’t always going to work in the real world. The filter isn’t always going to be on you in real life, it’s only going to be on you on social media” 

How does this affect a student’s school performance? 

Majority of students today have been apathetic about their grades or have had their grades decrease. Social media may play a factor in this. Maneri added, “I don’t think I have seen a dramatic drop across the board with grades, I have seen a drop in caring about their grades whether it’s if they got a B or an F, they are just like ‘okay.’” Most teenagers today worry about social media more than their grades.  

It is debated on whether or not social media is more beneficial or harmful for students in the school department, “It’s not just social media that causes problems, it’s also the fact that just kids in general are less motivated by school work. Google Classroom kind of functions as social media because you can have 30 kids in there that all have the ability to leave comments and talk to each other; that can be constructive,” Murphy commented.. 

Some can argue that social media can help one learn in some ways, others will say the opposite. Mr. Murphy uses apps to learn new words, such as Twitter. Murphy said, “On Twitter, I follow this person who is a Lexicographer; she’s like a word expert. She posts stuff and I learn that way. So, yes I think it’s possible to learn things from certain social media but I don’t think it’s helpful for the majority of kids.” 

The majority of teens spend their days scrolling on social media platforms. Based on studies, not having social media can have a massive impact on anxiety and can result in generalized anxiety disorders. Without social media, it would reduce overall levels of anxiety, depression and fear.  Do you think our lives would be better with or without social media?