Media Damage


Kenia Ortiz, Staff Writer

Not only are the teenagers at Hoover hypnotized by social media, but it also has their whole lives hypnotized, following them through the halls and classes, and making it their false reality.

Since social media has become a regular presence in teenagers’ lives and daily routines, they spend an oversized amount of time scrolling through feeds, liking and commenting on posts, and sharing content. It has shaped students’ perceptions of the world and influenced their views, behaviors, and relationships.

Social media can develop pressure to be continuously connected and up-to-date on the latest news and trends, which could lead to a fear of missing out on significant events and experiences. The hypnotic attachment social media produces in teenagers starts the very second they wake up to see a bright notification with midnight dried eyes from lack of sleep, impacting academic performance and overall health. According to Hoover High teachers and students themselves, students tend to doze off, have difficulties interpreting lessons and snoozing at their desks throughout the class. Students end up missing a whole class lesson from the ramifications of staying up the night before.

Not only do Hoover students stay up to date with the digital world, but they also heavily focus on their online lives’ appearance, prioritizing their digital presence over their real-life experiences and face-to-face conversations. Students who spend a majority of time on social media, neglect their schoolwork, friendships, and interests. Many students lose connection with what is right in front of them when this self-control, or lack of priorities, is lost. This can change the way students view their peers and may treat them indifferently.

When on digital territory, there are endless possibilities for originality. Promoting only the good of life and not the work to get there could create unrealistic expectations and make one feel the need to chase the unreal, bewildered why their lives don’t quite match up. The idea of perfectionism spreads across social media and has students comparing themselves to others, directing to feelings of envy and insecurity. Witnessing images of people who appear to have the ideal “perfect” bodies, “perfect” relationships, and “perfect” lives have people questioning their value and worth.

Social media can be addictive, and students may struggle to limit their use or take breaks from it, which impacts one’s mental health and well-being, but Hoover can improve. Improvement can include; encouraging a leveled use of digital devices, encouraging face-to-face interactions, familiarizing teenagers with responsible social media use, rehearsing self-care and self-compassion, as well as capping their exposure which can include unfollowing accounts that make them feel bad about themselves. We can set limits on social media use and seek out a positive and uplifting change within each other instead.