The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

Are Social Media and Smartphones Really That Bad for You?

Teenager+using+her+phone+in+class.
Caylee Lopez
Teenager using her phone in class.

In 2020, over 46,000 people died from suicide in the United States alone. This rate was decreasing in 2020 but has increased since 2022 and has continued to increase. Researchers found the suicide rates are connected to the usage rate of social media and smartphones.

 

“In 2022, the CDC said more than 49,000 people in the United States died by suicide. In 2023, those numbers surpassed 50,000 suicide deaths,” said Karris Hamron at the National Broadcasting Company 15 (NBC 15). 

 

Using social media and phones has become an important part of many daily lives with smartphones being at people’s fingertips and becoming the main way of contacting others as quickly as possible.

 

“Having my phone with me has been I guess both bad and good because I’m able to text my parents in case of an emergency but most of the time I’m playing games on my phone instead of doing homework,” said junior Cora McMahon.

 

Eating disorders are being  influenced because of social media due to unrealistic beauty standards.

 

“Photos and videos on social media can trigger people who have negative body images, especially those with eating disorders,” said Yanick Rice Lamb at WebMD. 

 

Social media can impact how many think of their bodies most times in a negative way with the exposure of unrealistic body standards and the glamorizing of having an eating disorder to create the ‘ideal’ body. 

 

“It was noted in the study that problematic cell phone usage is associated with psychological distress and emotional dysregulation [11]. Excessive cell phone users were also found to be associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder behaviors [12]) [13],” said Paul Tchounwou at the National Library of Medicine.

 

Smartphones reduce attention span and productivity in many. This is more common in adolescents than adults as most adults did not grow up with access to a phone in their pocket.

 

“It is a constant distraction, almost like an addiction to drugs especially when they don’t have it near them at all times,” said Kim Grosenbacher, government teacher at Champion. 

 

Smartphones are a major part of mental health in teens in this day and age due to a smartphone always being nearby.

 

“Teens are also more likely than older adults to have slept with their cell phone on or right next to their bed – fully 84% of teens do this, while 65% of adults 18 and older with a cell phone have done so,” said Amanda Lenhart at Pew Research Center.

 

Social media is often used to show others what people are doing, and vice versa. However, social media can also show what people are doing and can upset others.

 

“There have been times where I have been upset at something and social media didn’t make me feel better about what was going on in my life, probably made me feel worse if I’m being honest,” said McMahon. 

Smartphones and social media correlate to mental health concerns and this problem is on the rise. While phones are useful and help with many things it is best to take a break from them at times and realize what is around us. 

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