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  • Chloe

The Different Sides of Social Media

Many people depend on social media platforms like Snapchat, Youtube, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram to communicate with others. Whilst it does have benefits, like being able to talk to your friends even when physically absent, it will never be able to replace a real, in-person, human connection. 

Although technological developments have been made for entertainment and bringing people closer together, spending too much time on devices can cause addiction, making you feel lonelier and more isolated over time. In some cases, this can lead to anxiety and depression. Social platforms are incredibly popular places for cyberbullying, harassment, and online abuse, which leads people to engage in negative behaviours, and contributes to emotional distress and poor mental health in others.

Social media can also expose you to inappropriate content, if you aren’t careful. It can also create feelings of exclusion if your friends post something where they’re together but you weren’t invited. Finally, on social media, you are constantly at the risk of identity theft or having your privacy invaded. 

In my opinion, people may be on their iPhones or tech almost everyday, in part because they are so useful and efficient. We are slowly moving everything onto devices, and trying to drag ourselves off them now would be quite useless as everything is so much easier and quicker when done on your phone. 

It also serves a great educational purpose, because so many schools can share documents and set work up for students on devices. Students can also google resources to help with their homework, and ask their teachers questions from home.

Technology can be used for filming or footage and photos, which can be really useful when trying to find new species or when trying to see what things in unknown areas look like. This can also help you keep track of the places you’ve been, and keep the memories you’ve made.

To test these theories we asked three people from Year 9 these four questions: do you think social media is bad for you, how long is your average daily screen time, what do you think is the most popular social media platform, and how often do you post on social media? The first person we asked said that they don’t think social media is bad as it keeps you connected with your friends and, as long as you're not doing anything not age appropriate. Their screen time was an average of two hours per day. They think that the most popular platform is Snapchat, though they don’t personally post on social media often. Our next interviewee said that they think too much social media is bad for you, but recognised that it does have quite a lot of benefits. They average three hours of screen time per day, think the most popular social media platform is YouTube, and said that they post on social media quite often. Our final interviewee said that social media is pretty good as you can learn a lot from it, but it can also be negative because it is so open and anyone can put anything on it. Their screen time is four hours per day, and they think that the most popular platform of social media is TikTok. They post rarely, but when they do this is on a private account so only their friends can see it. 

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