The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff Spotlight
Juliette DEliseo
Juliette D'Eliseo
Sports Editor

Juliette D’Eliseo is a junior and Sports Editor of The Sage. She enjoys video editing and filming. She is going to play volleyball in college and study Film and Directing.

Sage Creek Weighs the Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media

An iPhone opens up the TikTok app while laying on a school backpack. TikToK can be an outlet to socialization.
Photo By Isaac Danon
An iPhone opens up the TikTok app while laying on a school backpack. TikToK can be an outlet to socialization.

When it comes to social media, most kids see it as an ability to instantly connect with others and share their lives, videos and updates. Most teens relate to social media as a key tool to create and maintain relationships while being creative and learning about the world. However, teens also engage in its negative aspects, such as cyberbullying or the feeling of having to present themselves in a certain way. 

“You can learn a lot of good things about social media, but you can use it to cause a lot of harm,” said Sage Creek High School junior Logan Rangel. 

When exploring the internet, social media can be considered as a tool that unleashes both beneficial and harmful consequences. 

 “I think, like most things, social media offers positives and negatives,” said Ms. Williams, Sage Creek’s AP Psychology and AP United States History (APUSH) teacher. 

There are many positive aspects of social media when it comes to social connectivity, but there is also a hidden dark side.

“Social media can be a great outlet and way to connect with friends and family. ” said Bob Beckman, Sage Creek’s school therapist. “Social media can also have negative effects; it can lead to feeling inferior and ultimately less connected.”

In terms of benefits, social media has a significant impact on everyday routines due to its set of digital techniques regarding technology. Social media can assist kids with their digital skills in creating and maintaining online identities and interactions, along with navigation and sharing digital content. Also, social media can assist children in finding different types of information that they are learning about in school while connecting with experts online. 

For teenagers, social media groups can foster a sense of community, reduce isolation, monitor discussions, and help them feel more connected and appreciated. 

“Social media can be a great convenient way for people to stay connected even if geographically not close,” Beckman said.                         

An iPad opens up the Instagram app for a person. Instagram can be used by users to compare themselves to other users. (Photo By Isaac Danon)

Individuals can develop their critical thinking skills by identifying trusted sources of information and teaching young individuals to question the reliability of those sources. Furthermore, social media can help youth create online identities as a method to explore other aspects of their interests that aren’t available offline. 

“It gives you the advantage to show your face online, chat with your friends, and post whatever you like,” said senior Josh Salerno. 

However, social media can also carry a number of disadvantages.

According to the CDC, people mistrust social media, and some may not know how to use it. Some may use social media as tools to start online arguments, create controversy or aggressively advocate their side of an issue or event. Social media is not used by every audience.

When it comes to information online, most sources aren’t expected to be accurate or honest, which creates rumors and spreads biased information. In other words, social media posts and videos are mostly fake news. 

“It can lead to the spread of misinformation,” Williams mentioned.

Social media is also known for generating anxiety among social media users when they come up with the best photo or video to post.  

“People regularly post their highs on social media, but in real life, they may be struggling just as much as anyone else,” Boeckman said.

Social media can also negatively affect a person’s mental health. 

Studies indicate that people who spend too much time on social media have trouble sleeping, leading to insomnia or other sleep disorders. Social media can lead to a Fear of Missing out, or “FOMO,” as many people are anxiously checking their phones for new updates and messages, leading to stress and anxiety. Too much time on social media can push people closer to depression, as getting too preoccupied with someone’s life can lead many people into depression. 

A computer screen shows some Youtube videos about social media. YouTube wants to share videos about the advantages and disadvantages of social media. (Photo By Isaac Danon)

“You can think you’re talking to someone, but behind the screen you don’t know,” Rangel noted.

There are a lot of common privacy issues on social media, such as data mining, cyberbullying, excessive online footprints and especially hacking and account takeovers. The more information users put online, the more they are putting their identity, accounts and finances at risk.  

“Social media is also a way predators use to connect with children for trafficking purposes or sexploitation,” Williams added. “My biggest concern is that it can create isolation and a lack of real-life connections.”

For communication skills, social media can decrease them as it makes people less empathetic and more self-centered. Narcissism is common on social media, as most individuals can brag about their achievements and post photos from parties without facing the consequences. 

Social media can lead to comparisons, which often leave people feeling less satisfied with their lives,” Williams said. “It can lead to unrealistic expectations of physical appearances.”

Overall, social media can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s interpersonal life, communication skills, intelligence and mental health. 

“My first suggestion is that students, and their parents, should educate themselves about the platform they want to use before they use it,” Williams said. 

Social media can be a complex and unfamiliar world for teens and kids who aren’t aware of its abilities, communications and outcomes.

“Whatever you post on the internet, stays on the internet forever,” said Salerno. 

Teachers should teach Sage Creek to be more mindful of social media. Teaching individuals how to use social media will help them recognize risks while enjoying the benefits that these platforms have to offer. 

“I would recommend monitoring your own use and monitoring how it makes you feel,” Boeckman advised.  

Social media time limits would encourage students to engage in moderate social media use and assist teens with self-control. 

“I would advise students to do the right thing,” Rangel advised. “One bad post, and one bad decision could ruin their life and their career.” 

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