Phones and Us

Social Media And Phone Usage Negatively Affecting Us


Your Teen Magazine

Teen using her phone.

This article contains potentially triggering topics: bullying and suicide.
Please be aware of your mental state before reading and reach out to the appropriate source linked below the article

Picture this, you wake up at 5:30 AM to the sound of your phone alarm after only getting four hours of sleep, because you stayed up talking to friends. You pick up your phone to turn off the alarm and after that you start scrolling through your notifications. You get so distracted that you forget that you need to get ready for school and now you are behind on your schedule. You still manage to make it out of the door at a reasonable time, though you forgot to put your computer in your bag, you made sure not to forget your phone.

Though many of us would not call it one—we have an addiction to our phones. To be clear I am not telling you to completely change your lifestyle, but to acknowledge it and see how it affects the way you communicate with others and interact with the environment around you and treat others as a whole.

There have been many studies done on phones and the addiction that we the younger generations have to them, but it’s inevitable, we were born into a generation with technology. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and now TikTok, it feels like social media has always existed and it’s weird to think of a life where you aren’t trying to constantly get the best picture for our feeds. A UK study conducted by Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., found that people who were constantly on social media were more likely to become narcissistic and think of themselves better than others because of the attention they received on social media. This obviously causes big issues in real life relationships. Along with personality changes, people forget how to communicate with each other when it comes to forming new relationships. Although our phones and social media let us see into the lives of others and their cultures, it also leads to harmful stereotypes that cause divisions between people and stop them from experiencing new things because of preconceived ideas.

Social media has not only made us addicted to keeping up a specific image of ourselves, but also to judge the image that others put of themselves out in public. On social media you are hidden and have anonymity because of this, people tend to go online and give their unsolicited opinion that they wouldn’t usually give if their face was tied to it.

Cyberbullying is also more brutal than in-person bullying, because people don’t usually see how it affects the person they are attacking. This form of bullying has become more popular as different social medias are coming out, and becoming more accessible, especially to younger ages. An example of this most that people witnessed was the rise of Charli D’Amelio. She became popular on TikTok in 2019 for dancing, and at first she was adored by most until she became “too famous.” After that she was on the daily receiving comments under videos saying, “why is she even famous,” “she doesn’t even deserve to be where she is,” “she’s not even pretty,” etc. It wasn’t until about two years later, when her family’s Hulu show was released for the public to watch, that people began to sympathize with her and her family about the hardships they faced getting used to fame and even in this case they were still ridiculed.  This isn’t a rare or new case, but it was one of the more popular and recent events that many people were able to witness. Cyberbullying is not something that is easily detected because younger people are worried about getting restictions put on their social media usage they hide it from their parents and act like everything is okay. This has a terrible affect on children’s mental health and teaches them not to speak to someone even if they need help for the fear of how their parents or guardians may react. Due to this Cyberbullying has caused an increase in suicides and other harmful situations. 

Another thing social media has been doing to our generation is forcing it to grow up much faster. Kids are getting phones at younger ages and getting social media as well. This is detrimental because those in very impressionable periods of their lives are seeing what others are doing and trying to copy. We see a lot of this when, for example, young girls show up on the for you page and you mistaken them for 16, 17, or sometimes even 18 years old just to find out that they are 13 or 14. The internet is negatively influencing younger ages and they aren’t even getting the chance to have fun and go through essential periods of their lives because they are too busy trying to grow up and get to the “beauty standard.”

Although having social media is inevitable we need to try and distance ourselves from it and take breaks. The internet is meant to bring us closer and teach us new things but it may be doing the opposite.

Helpful Resources:
Crisis Services: Dial 211 – Help when you feel really anxious or really depressed and need someone to talk with so that you can stay safe.
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Maryland anonymous Tip Line: 1-833-632-7233 – Report threats or situations that put your safety, or others’ safety, at risk.
Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255 – Help if you are thinking about suicide.

What is your Average Screen Time?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.