The voice of the students

The Catamount

The voice of the students

The Catamount

The voice of the students

The Catamount

Social Media’s Effect on Teens

Image design by Connor Peck for Divided We Fall (DWF). All rights reserved.
Image design by Connor Peck for Divided We Fall (DWF). All rights reserved.

Living in a generation and time where media has taken over every aspect of our lives, it is important to acknowledge the detrimental effects it can have on teens’ body image. The excessive exposure to idealized and unrealistic beauty standards portrayed by the media has created a toxic environment that damages teens’ self-esteem and confidence. The main problem lies in the media’s portrayal of an unattainable version of “beauty,” through advertisements, movies, TV shows, and social media platforms. Teens, who are highly susceptible to influence, often compare themselves to edited photos, influencers, and actors which sets unrealistic expectations for their own appearance. I conducted anonymous interviews with students at Bothell to ask them how they think the media has shaped them or our generation in general. 

Question #1: Do you think social media has negatively affected your self-esteem? 

Anonymous Student #1 (27’): “It has not affected me a lot personally. It did at first, like a ton, but then I realized how fake a lot of it really was and I was able to get out of my head.”

Anonymous Student #2 (24’): “I don’t think social media has negatively affected me or my self-esteem because I don’t use any social media like Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok and I think this has had affected me positively because I don’t have access to any negative comments, edited photos, or bad jokes. This caused me to become a more social person and talk to people in person more which leads to knowing more people.”

Question #2: In what ways do you think the media could change in order to help stop the core problem so this cycle won’t continue for future generations? 

Anonymous Student #1 (27’) “I think that people could stop posting stuff about their bodies that are like 99.9% fake and photoshopped so teenagers don’t have to feel bad about themselves.” 

Anonymous Student #2 (24’): “I think that rules on social media should become more strict because what I find is that many jokes that aren’t appropriate get posted online which leads to a negative self-esteem which leads to people spreading those jokes and it creates a cycle of insulting jokes and mean comments that people tell each other in real life which causes other to see a different image of that person. Considering these answers it is clear that there is a problem with the way the media is portraying certain topics and characters, it is important that something should change.”

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