The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

Social Media’s Effect on Mental Health

Social+Media%E2%80%99s+Effect+on+Mental+Health

The first ever social media platform where people could make friends with other users was called Six Degrees and it was made in 1997. While it was short-lived, the site was meant as harmless fun and socializing, but the evolution of social media has made it a hotspot for a whole new concern safety wise regarding mental health. The complexity behind it is that the algorithm accompanied by a spread of false information has taken toxicity in apps like TikTok and Instagram to new levels. “Everyone likes social media, it’s the go-to thing. Then you notice how much it can affect people mentally especially teenagers and young adults,” Olivia Rivera said. 

The algorithm is calculations that social media platforms make to keep users on their apps as long as possible by boosting content that is estimated to obtain their attention. It can introduce users to a certain kind of content to which they can then determine whether it is interesting enough to not just scroll past. This is what it takes for similar ideas, videos, and images to pop up soon after. If someone liked one post that they related to in any way, hundreds of posts would follow suit. “Even though social has impacted my mental health slowly, it has still impacted it in multiple different ways. One of them being comparing myself to unattainable standards, harming my self-esteem and making me feel bad about myself and my body,” Grace Botten said. 

An example of false information that is commonly spread is when content creators label unhealthy habits as diets that promote eating less to lose weight. This often leads to eating disorders and long-term mental health issues such as body dysmorphia, especially in teenage girls. There have also been terms floating around social media that have created insecurities such as “legging legs” and some beauty creators have tried to categorize what kind of pretty people are by their features. Many came forward in comments on those videos about this, calling it “brain rot.” In this age of social media, the idea behind making this type of content is largely because they’ve lost originality in content creation so they’re no longer influential because of the speed in which trends come and go. “Most of the time, the parts that we see on social media are just glorified parts of a person’s life and not their everyday reality. It makes people insecure, and it makes them feel like their life isn’t as good as someone else’s,” Hanna Ligons said. 

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