The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice


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Scrolling through self-worth: The impact of social media on teens

Illustration by: Audrey Dale

Every scroll becomes more depressing; jealousy and comparison grows with each new post on your feed. The constant struggle to be perfect and to fit the unrealistic standards placed on each of us affects a large amount of society, especially teenagers. The presence of social media and the phenomenon of stepping our best foot forward for everyone to see has had a large impact on mental health over the years.

“We end up comparing ourselves to these celebrities, and most of the time it’s not even real,” junior Siena Hannabery said. “We want to fit into people’s expectations – to look good and just be the definition of perfect.” 

While there are a number of benefits to online social platforms, such as more interaction with friends and faster communication techniques, many disadvantages are still present.

Social media can expose vulnerable teenagers to cyberbullying and body image issues which can ultimately cause a decline in mental health. Studies have been carried out in which the usage of social media is linked to a higher risk of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. 

“Days I’m more insecure,” Hannabery said. “I tend to isolate myself because I don’t want people to judge me for my insecurities.” 

The constant overload of posts has strong effects on the self-esteem of adolescents. Body image, especially, is a major worry present in many teens today. However, body positivity movements are making waves throughout the internet, which have positively impacted people’s views on themselves. Body positivity promotes body appreciation and spreads positive messages regarding physical appearance. 

Despite the efforts made to increase physical self esteem, appearance is not the only insecurity caused by social platforms, “If [people] go to some place I want to go, that can affect me,” junior Alvin Amin said.

The competitiveness of choosing only the best photos from your best trip has created fake, unrealistic portrayals of life which are then pushed out to the online world. The pressures of seeming picture perfect eats away at those who want to impress their followers, and the everlasting cycle of comparison still remains. 

There have been many efforts to lower the amount of screen time spent on social media, such as screen time limits placed on apps in order to encourage users to take a break from scrolling. Apps such as BeMe have also recently been emerging, which primarily focuses on the mental health of teens. The app combines the positive and engaging parts of technology while also offering mental and emotional support. Even the simple action of taking a break from social media can have extremely positive effects regarding self esteem and overall mood. 

The rapid rise of social media is nowhere over as new technologies and apps continue to be developed. Despite still being a fairly new phenomenon, the effects of social media have been widely researched and many have spoken out on the repercussions of continuous social media use. 

The next time you catch yourself in the toxic cycle of scrolling and comparing, put the phone down and take a break. Your phone won’t miss you too much.

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About the Contributor
Renee Crotty, Staff Reporter
Renee Crotty is a junior and is thrilled to be in her first year of the Voice. Outside of school she enjoys music, hanging out with family and friends and going out on the weekends.

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