The New Addiction

By Sarah Wergeles and Sydney Zubrinsky

Social media is controlling my life, and many others lives. I wake up, check my phone. While I am getting ready for school, I constantly check my phone. School goes on and all day I am thinking about my Instagram feed, or how many more people I should be Snapchatting. Then, once I get home,  I am caught once again scrolling aimlessly through my Instagram and Snapchatting people for hours on end. It is the first thing I look at when I wake up and the last thing before I go to sleep. When I didn’t have an Instagram or Snapchat account, I didn’t care if a piece of hair was out of place, or if my earrings match my outfit. Now, due to social media, society has changed, causing everybody to compare themselves to others. I ask myself everyday what the point of these stupid controlling apps are, but I really don’t know.

54% of teens are dealing with this problem as well. 44% of teens say that they spend too much time on social media. Kids 13-18 could spend as much time as 9 hours a day on their phone. That is 37% of your day.  New York Times says, “Their behavior, (referring to teens), can become based on their ‘all about the likes’ values rather than their real life values.” This means that teens can get so caught up in how many likes they are getting, that they do not think about whether or not what they are posting is right. Or, if they are spending too much time on social media and not enough time actually interacting with people. Don’t you think this is a problem too?

Social media is the leading cause of many anxiety disorders, and believe it or not, there is an anxiety disorder called social media anxiety disorder. The reason behind this is that the more technology we obtain, the more stressed, anxious, and depressed we become. Studies show that 20% of people with at least one social media account can’t go any more then three hours without checking it.  It seems that social media as many of the qualities of addictive drugs. Likes, comments, and followers trigger the release of dopamine, which is what happens when using opioids. A professor of pediatrics said, “It is not a drug, but it might as well be. It works the same way…has the same results.” He was talking about social media, and how addicting it is. Social Media is also causing many kids to be cyberbullied. Cyberbullying is using electronic communication to bully a person. 88% of teens have witnessed cyberbullying on social media. The only way to escape it is to delete all of the apps you have that allow you to communicate with others. But, how can you do this if you are addicted to them?

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