Needs a Title
Over the past decade, the world has seen an enormous surge of popularity throughout social media. Throughout the covid pandemic, many young individuals were in such isolation that everything was being given to them through a screen. Kids couldn’t figure out what to do, so social media was the most accessible thing at the time. However, something disastrous in particular that has been observed since the pandemic has calmed is the increase in diagnosed mental health disorders and suicides in adolescents. In fact, there has been a steady increase in suicides per year in adolescents, and social media is one of the biggest factors leading to mental health problems. Some underlying factors that contribute to these ultimately deaths from social media are FOMO (fear of missing out), cyberbullying, and the excessive use and access to phones in young ages.
If you are a teen and are living decently comfortably, I am sure you would have access to a cell phone or social media. Social media has emerged as the staple for young teens specifically over the past couple of years. What makes social media so problematic, however, is how easily accessible it is. As long as you have an email account set up, a social media account like Snaochat, Instagram, or Tiktok can be created, just to name a few of many. An ideal common fix to this problem would be a stricter guidance from parents, especially on children who have not reached their teen years. In an Influence Central’s study, it was shown in a poll that 11% of children had access to their first social media account at an age younger than 10.
However, the way that society has shifted, there is no other choice than for kids to get hooked on social media. The norm nowadays is to constantly be indulged in a digital life rather than experiencing it with your own eyes. I want to prove how social media addiction throughout teens has significantly contributed to the effects of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Several small factors eventually add up into something that is unbearable, and the world needs to understand how severe the problem has gotten.
The fear of missing out is often compared to social media use because most things nowadays are found through a screen on apps like Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Youtube. A common theme that this is correspondent with is with friends. Simply scrolling through an app like Snapchat and seeing your friends doing something without you instantly causes a feeling of FOMO. This person feels anxiety because others are having a fun experience while they sit isolated with their phone. It is proven that social media users experience this effect much more compared to those that do not. The fear of missing out on fun experiences with others also contributes to mood swings and other small factors that all contribute to mental health. Although this effect has been examined and existed for several decades, it has increased rapidly with the popularity of today’s internet. Instinctively, everyone wants to do everything they possibly can in order to have fun, but this also comes from the fact that that person wants to make it look like their life is great. If they were to miss anything, it could form anxiety which damages their happiness.
Let’s take a step away from FOMO for a second and take a deeper dive into another societal shift. Since the introduction of social media, students that have become addicted to their phones will commonly see a steady decrease in their academic performance. It should be noted that the pandemic shook up the younger population extremely with the introduction and eventually normality of “online school”, which was never a normal concept in any period of time. Poor performance in school inevitably gives the body feelings of stress, and the only way people seem to cope is by going back on their phones. This idea has been studied deeply among
A common question that is asked is why does social media cause such high levels of stress? However, that question is almost impossible to answer due to the amount of things that can be corresponded with it. Cyberbullying is at an all time peak now, and much of this has to do with high levels of stress and addiction. Cyberbullying was first introduced not through social media applications but in things like video games, email, and messaging, and is intended to cause harm and distress to another individual. Many people often correspond cyberbullying with people you know, but in today’s world it has evolved into something that could occur without the person even knowing they are doing it and having no relationship with the victim whatsoever. A simple hate or unnecessary comment on a post can go a long way without the person even knowing it. The act of leaving a harsh comment somewhere on social media with no correlation to the person is defined not as cyberbullying, but cyber aggression. Cyber aggression has come up as a new term in recent years due to the increase in hate on social media. Comments like these will most likely affect the person in a negatively emotional way.
In conclusion, the correlation between social media and mental health worldwide across teens is very prevalent in today’s society. It is an extremely serious issue that needs to be monitored closer than before. Most of this doesn’t come from only social media directly, but the people on there as well. People develop anxiety from FOMO after seeing their friends hanging out without them. Posting everything you experience on social media creates a false reality of life that adolescents fall into. The rising issue of cyberbullying and cyber aggression is seen every day on almost any “famous” social media influencer. People feel either jealousy or the need to live up to the standards that the other person is living, so the only way to do that is by bringing them down. The world needs to embody the mental health of our adolescents before it is too late.
Zhao, L. (2021). Social Media Addiction and its impact on college students’ academic performance: The mediating role of stress. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 32(1), 81–90. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-021-00635-0
Chatzakou, D., Leontiadis, I., Blackburn, J., De Cristofaro, E., Stringhini, G., Vakali, A., & Kourtellis, N. (2019, July 20). Detecting cyberbullying and Cyberaggression in social media. arXiv.org. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.08873
Alutaybi, A., Al-Thani, D., McAlaney, J., & Ali, R. (2020, August 23). Combating fear of missing out (FOMO) on social media: The FOMO-R method. MDPI. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/17/6128
Whenever a student proposes a research project on social media, tlap, I have the same conversation I had with you: It’s a dangerous choice; the temptation will be to catalog a bunch of negative consequences; the topic is so familiar you’ll be tempted to rest on “common knowledge” at the expense of research; only a narrowly-focused, very specific hypothesis stands a chance of providing anything novel or interesting; the odds are long against achieving anything more than a C, even for a strong paper.
Most of my fears are reflected here. This draft is extremely vague, you haven’t actually cited any of your References; it’s impossible to tell whether you’ve read them, the claims are extremely broad and vague, and the relationship between your points and your hypothesis are uncertain. Does bullying result in death? You don’t say so. Does FoMO result in death? You don’t say so. What does social media addiction lead to? You don’t say.
It’s also not a Definition argument, by and large.
Of your three References, I like the article about “COMBATTING” FoFM myself. It’s VERY specific about remedies, behaviors, attitudes that adolescents can learn and adopt to RESIST and COUNTERACT the temptation to respond to social media with negativity and depression. THAT would be worth pursuing.
I realize that’s not what anyone would want to hear, tlap, but I hope you’ll respond by engaging with this conversation and accepting further guidance away from the path you’re on. I want to help, not discourage, but time is running out for a strong alternative to this approach you’re taking at present. Please Reply.
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Hi professor, we talked in person about the transition from my current topic into possibly developing something worth talking about. I transitioned into the topic you said would be worth pursuing which was the fear of missing out. I branched away from social media and would like feedback as to how I did approaching it from a different viewpoint. I also was wondering if I would be eligible for a regrade on my definition argument. I need to update my white paper with new sources and will update ASAP, thanks!