Impacts on teens through social media.

By Delaney Sis and Na’Riyah Johnson

Woman with negative surprised face looking something in smartphone. Sad teenager with mobile phone, scared of threatening, mobile abuse. Front view of a sad teen checking phone sitting on the floor in the living room at home with a dark background. Image taken from: https://www.freepik.com/premium-photo/front-view-sad-teen-checking-phone_1868534.htm

Today, so many teens are using social media everyday. According to the West Virginia Teachers Association website, the average teenager spends about 9 hours a day on social media/technology. Even if you are using it in increments, the amount of time adds up over time. 

Social media has both positive and negative impacts on people. There are a few more negative impacts instead of positive ones (for a more detailed list, please visit the Independent’s website). Many people believe even if they don’t have a phone, or they don’t have social media, they are still exposed to technology and the media.

Teenagers who use social media can use it to cyber bully other teenagers. Teenagers believe that if you are doing it through the phone, then teenagers won’t have to tell them face to face. Cyber bullying can get so bad, to where the one who is being bullied doesn’t know what to do, that they turn to hurting themselves; some even to the point of wanting to not live anymore. The bully doesn’t realize what they have done until it’s too late.

Teenagers who use social media can gain low self-esteem. You may be wondering: How does social media make you gain low self-esteem? Well, when you compare your pictures to others, you start to feel self doubt. Sure, many people have self doubt, but constantly scrolling through you social media feed isn’t healthy.

Aside from teenagers gaining low self-esteem, they can also gain a feeling of depression. If you don’t know what depression is, according to WebMD, it is a disorder that leads to many different emotions. Having depression can affect the immune system. 

Teens need to talk more with others. Talking to others is a key thing to expand who you are as a individual. Communication with others can also start to get harder because of how long time has been spent on social media, or just our devices in general.

Social media can also affect how your see you body. Looking through someone’s feed can only make things worse if you already see you body as poor, which could lead to unsafe diets. An unsafe diet can also lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition leads to an imbalance in the lack of nutritions in the body. Malnutrition affects 45% of children, which is about 3.1 million children each year. Those are just numbers from children who are under the age of 5. For more information on the effets of malnutrition, please visit: https://www.mercycorps.org/articles/growing-hungry-quick-facts-about-malnutrition

Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett was born on June 21, 1982, and is an American actor and singer. Jussie Smollett grew a big following after appearing on the famous show Empire. He plays Jamal Lyon.

On the night of January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett tells the police that at around 2 a.m. what he believed were two white males, wearing masks and a MAGA (make America great again) hat, had attacked him. According to Smollett, the two men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him. They then tied a rope around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him.

Smollett says he went home and one of his close associates had to call and tell the police 40 minutes after the incident had occurred. Sources say that Smollett was hesitant to call the police because of his status.

After the attack was shared to different media outlets, there were a lot of A-list celebrities that offered their support to Jussie Smollett.

After the investigation, police noticed that some things that Jussie was doing after the incident were odd. For example, the night of the attack, Smollett said that he had broken ribs, two days later he was seen at a concert dancing and jumping. It didn’t make sense as to why someone who had broken ribs would hold a concert.

On February 1, Jussie released his first public appearance on Good Morning America, he said, “Let me starts off by saying that I’m O.K. My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

During the interview, people noticed how Smollett was getting defensive when Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts asked why didn’t he give the police his phone. Smollett said he had personal pictures and information that he didn’t want the police to see. People thought that if you are innocent, and have nothing to hide, you’ll just give the police your phone.

A few weeks after the incident, it came out that police think that Smollett hired two brothers to stage the attack, and the reason why he did this was because he wasn’t getting paid enough. For his role on the show Empire, he only gets paid $20,000 an episode and he thought that wasn’t enough, so he thought that by staging this attack, he would get a raise and get donations for the hate crime that happened to him.

A lot of people were hurt that he could have lied about a situation like this, feeling that he’s making it harder for people of color to come out in the future and tell their hate crime stories.