The effects of social media on teenagers

The positives and negatives of popular social media websites


Kayla Oba, Author


Social media is one of the most efficient and cost-effective advertising tools to inform or advertise a product or service, especially to teenagers. According to the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit research organization, 94% of all teenagers in the U.S. go on social media daily. Social media can have a positive or negative impact on teenagers. As freshman Kaylee Curd notes, “Although social media can be both positive and negative, it is mainly a negative influence on teenagers. They get so caught up in other people’s lives that they forget how to live their own.”   

According to a report by the news organization CNN, teenagers view social media more positively. For example, when teens post selfies, they receive comments that reinforce the positive effects of social media. Eileen Masio, a mom of two in New York, monitors her daughter Amelia’s Instagram account 24/7. “Yes, most of the posts are “selfies,” but it’s the comments that make her think there is also a positive to this nonstop engagement.”

A negative side to social media is cyber bullying, which is an ongoing problem. With more social media sites developing, there is an increase in cyber bullying. According to, 1 in 3 teens have experienced cyber bullying. Cyber bullying happens within seconds. To combat cyber bullying, Facebook added tools that users can report bullying. According to The Social Media Monthly, a social media magazine and website, “Facebook is now giving users the appropriate tools to better communicate their feelings and alleviate the concerns and conflicts that arise with feeling bullied on the web.” By clicking “this post is a problem” on Facebook, harmful material/content can be easily reported for immediate action by Facebook.

With the increasing number of people on social media sites, informing and spreading news is instantaneous. One could argue whether this is a good thing or otherwise. Writers use click-bait to attract readers to click on their article, which could be false information. These articles include catchy and strange titles to lure readers. On social media, there may be a video about it or even a link to a page. Since the election, there is a rise in fake news stories throughout social media, endorsing different candidates and making up lies to make one seem better than the other.

One of the positives of social media is its impact on education., a website covering news for educators, states that social media allows for seamless collaboration among students. This makes them work cooperatively in groups and prepare students for the workforce. The negative side of social media, however, is distraction. states that during homework, many teenagers are easily distracted by social media. Thus, the rate of academic performance decreases along with grades.

The debate about social media and its affects on teenagers has been going on for years. Junior Kendal Chun looks at social media in a positive light. “Social media is a great way for teenagers to discover new things and connect with their friends. Being on social media has introduced me to news that is happening around the world.”