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Instagram This: Students Think Social Media is Mentally Harmful

Instagram poll showing vote results

Over the weekend, a Vanguard Instagram poll showed 92% of students (71 of the total 77 votes) believe social media is toxic.


Kallie Rowe, freshman biology major at Kennesaw State University voted yes and says, “I think social media makes people think their life has to be perfect and that it has to look a certain way… and when it doesn’t look perfect, we obsess over it.”

Rowe continues, “Honestly, with the people that say their social media doesn’t bother them, deep down I think it affects them even if they don’t show it.”

Ryan Glass, junior political science major at the University of Georgia says, “Social media is toxic because it distorts people’s views of others and affects their own self esteem. We compare ourselves to unrealistic standards on social media and that’s why I think it’s toxic.”

Aaron Muilenburg, freshman construction management major at Kennesaw State University says, “I don’t think it’s toxic because social media is what you make of it. It all depends on your perspective and how you use it as a whole.”

Social media can be considered a tie between a human and their different connections. Many use their internet communities to keep up with friendships, relationships, family members and more. But, it can also be mentally and emotionally damaging in some aspects.

In the article, “Social Media Use and Its Connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review” posted to the U.S National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health says, “A number of studies have been conducted on the impacts of social media, and it has been indicated that the prolonged use of social media platforms… may be related to negative signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress… social media can create a lot of pressure to create the stereotype that others want to see…”

The World Health Organization says, “Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in older adolescents (15-19 years)… Digital media, like any other media, can play a significant role in either enhancing or weakening suicide prevention efforts.”

The students who voted yes agree, social media influences the way we look at ourselves and judge others. Many are constantly comparing themselves to others, which leads to negative thoughts and insecurities. Social media posts often put out false information and misleading details. With how connected to their online lives Gen Z and Millenials are, it completely consumes the perceptions we have on others’ lives.

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Instagram This: Students Think Social Media is Mentally Harmful