Mental effects of social media on teens

By: Aisha Dirie

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Even though social media is a fairly new thing, it has increased in popularity over the years with many marketing techniques. Social media has many benefits, like keeping in touch with relatives, having quick access to people’s profiles, etc.

But there are many long term effects of it too. Excessive social media usage can lead to mental disorders like anxiety and depression, it can harm relationships, etc. We’ll dig into some of these mental, and emotional affects of social media within teenagers. 

Social media has been proved to increase anxiety and depression within teens. According to the Mayo Clinic, using social media more than three times a day can predict poor mental health and well being in teens.

Social media can sometimes provide an escape, as well as change how you perceive others. It makes others lives seem perfect. FOMO (fear of missing out) is also common for teens while using social media excessively.

Social media also disrupts sleeping patterns, unhealthy sleeping habits can lead to poor performance in school, depression, anxiety, loss of interest in daily activities, poor hygiene, etc.

Over usage of social media can lead to feeling envious, imperfect, useless, etc. Excessive use of social media can lead to all these things that can eventually affect you in the long run.

Regulating or supervising social media at specific times during the day is the best way to fight these bad habits. Social media can affect the external feelings, but also internal feelings and functions we have. It can affect your brain’s decision making and logical thinking aspect as well.

All of these, with countless studies, have shown to disturb teens in an amount of ways physically, mentally, and emotionally. Little usage along with close supervision of social media can help promote responsible behavior and overall better mental health.

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The future of commercial space travel 

By: Grace Helmke

In May of 2020, SpaceX launched two Americans aboard Falcon 9, the first manned rocket to journey to the International Space Station (ISS) in over nine years. The flight took place aboard a commercial vehicle, representing the beginning of a movement towards accessible space travel. 

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NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), is working with several private companies to expand their production and create space crafts capable of carrying the average human into orbit.

SpaceX was the first to produce reusable rockets. They did this by establishing a model, which has now been running regular missions to the ISS since 2012.

The several companies manufacturing these shuttles maintain ownership of the vehicles they produce. NASA then provides their launch facilities, and sends the astronauts into space. By creating business with these companies and starting their Commercial Crew Program, NASA predicts that the economics of spaceflight will change, increasing competition between nations and driving down the cost of intergalactic travel. 

Other nations around the world are also becoming increasingly invested in the idea of a commercialized space flight future. Russia currently has in orbit a reusable vessel which has made several trips from earth to space on resupply missions to the ISS. China is in the earlier stages of the production of a space station capable of housing multitudes of astronauts for an extended period of time. Several test vehicles have been launched, but all have incinerated after multiple years in space. 

The fact that private companies in the United States, and around the world, are beginning their work in becoming commercial space companies means that spaceflight is no longer exclusive to government-funded projects. It is now becoming increasingly accessible. 

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It is also foreseeable that as a result of these reduced prices and increased accessibility, that a hospitality industry might emerge in space and on other planets. Meaning, hotels and inflatable habitats will likely be created.

Bigelow Aerospace, a company in Nevada that specializes in space technology, has actually begun to produce these alternative housing solutions. The idea of this module, named B330, is that it is completely collapsible. It will arrive at the destination shriveled and compacked, and will inflate to accommodate visitors upon arrival. This balloon like home, surprisingly enough, would last a person’s lifetime.

With the continued advancement in technology, and newfound partnership between the government and private companies, a society where space travel is routine may not be so far away. 

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