Bolton School Girls’ Division Newspaper


The Neglected Implications of Social Media

With millions of teenagers on the internet, millions of parents are trying to understand what their teenagers are doing and why. Understanding how technology use impacts teens’ learning, growth and social development is critical for their health and well-being and for the welfare of the family. Yet, balancing parent authority with teen privacy and autonomy is difficult. Is this potential conflict the only consequence of a rapid growth of technology in our lives that has been going on for years?  Or are we starting to notice other impacts?


As the use of social media continues to soar with no sign of slowing down, it is contributing to an increase in teen mental health difficulties. Many people have denied the changes that have occurred as a result of their long-term use of the internet, resulting in a rift between themselves and their parents. A Cambridge University Press article states that: there were 20.5% of respondents with a past history of mental health problems and 31.5% of those linked these problems to online issues.

There are also allegations that suggest that certain details on social media “brainwash” gullible minds which is contributing to the development of mental health issues.

This is backed up by recent studies by Nicoletta Cavazza which highlight the issue of people turning to social media to learn about the world, rather than looking at more traditional sources such as professionally researched news. The idea is that this can lead to people developing opinions solely based on the judgements that others make.  Internet algorithms, driven by marketing tools, tend to direct us to sites that confirm our views, rather than offering us a wider variety of opinions on a topic.

This trend can lead to people becoming fearful to speak out due to a concern over ‘cancel culture’.  This is happening on issues as controversial as abortion and as mundane as pizza. 

This twists our state of mind, taking away our confidence to assert our independent thoughts for fear of becoming the victim of an online hate campaign. Silencing the right to debate or disagreement is surely taking society in the wrong direction. 

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Despite the fact that this article does not address all of the reasons, it’s still important to remember that even though the internet has some great elements about it, there will inevitably be negative consequences that follow such a monumental change in the way we communicate, even if we’re sometimes oblivious to it. So next time you find social media telling you what not to eat, or what to think, maybe you could try and find ways to come to your own conclusions.

By Katie Duong

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