The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

This Week In Tiger Sports

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Social Media Is Not a Friend


Have you ever heard a parent or adult say, “Life was better without social media”? As teenagers, we roll our eyes and keep wasting hours on platforms that engage and distract us at the same time. Scrolling through social media may seem harmless, but beyond the surface, the practice negatively impacts our mental well-being.

While some would argue that social media can foster creativity, deepen connections, and even teach you things you didn’t know, such as a fun recipe or a history lesson, we can’t forget that it can also lead to unhealthy comparison, FOMO (fear of missing out), and even isolation and depression.

According to, the first ever social media platform that came out was, which was a site where you could set up a profile and connect with others. Social media has been one of the most addicting platforms for kids, teens, and even adults. In 2016, a survey by Common Sense Media came out, and the results turned out to be that “half of teenagers said that they feel they’re addicted to their mobile device”. Some people use social media because they want to achieve different goals. For example, some might want to get famous or popular, make people laugh, or promote political causes. While these examples may seem positive, there can be many negative consequences when you go down the rabbit hole of constant social media exposure.

Furthermore, comparing ourselves to others on social media can be toxic to our mental health.
When scrolling through TikTok or Instagram, you often see highlight reels of other people’s lives, making you feel insecure. Social media can greatly distort body image. Looking at people’s filtered and edited posts can give us unrealistic expectations of how we think we should look, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction with our own bodies. The effects of this can result in low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, and even the development of unhealthy eating habits or disorders.

Social media platforms owned by Meta, such as Instagram and Facebook, have been facing legal challenges from numerous states. These lawsuits state that Meta knowingly utilized some features to engage and hook children in, despite claiming their platforms are safe. The accusations include violations of consumer protection laws, deceptive practices regarding platform safety, and the implementation of manipulative features to encourage compulsive use. In addition, Meta is accused of unlawfully collecting personal data from young users without containing parent/kid consent. While Meta claims to be working towards creating a safer online environment, the events that happened do not show this, which can lead to harming the users perception of online safety.

Politics, war, and disturbing messages and images, like those from Israel and Gaza, can have a negative impact on peoples’ mental health as well. The threat of violence and fear can influence feelings of stress and anxiety, which worsen the more time you spend on your phone. Individuals can experience symptoms like sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and emotional distress. Ultimately, social media can have various negative effects on peoples’ daily lives, including not wanting to go to work or even school.

Overall, social media can also be incredibly addicting, so it helps to set boundaries to protect your mental health. Some suggestions include limiting your time on social media by taking breaks, doing your own research, muting accounts that are giving you FOMO, anxiety, or stress, and speaking with adults and peers about content that might be upsetting or confusing. Even though something is on the internet, it doesn’t automatically make it true.

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About the Contributor
Amanda Forman, Guest Writer
Amanda Forman ('27) is excited to write many stories about current events and entertainment. She enjoys playing lacrosse and tennis, and hanging out with friends.