by Olivia Thiemann
The Effects of Social Media
In this generation, a new form of entertainment has unleashed and begun to take a tremendous leap into the lives of many. It has taken effect by sneaking its way into personal lives, and creating a new reality, which some might say, is much better than the real one.
At Monument Valley Middle School, social media has become more than just a place to post selfies and art. Teens have taken it, and created something new. To some students, it has almost become a comfort place, where they can openly share their opinions with others without feeling pressured.
Oliver Maldonado, 8th grade student at Monument Valley agrees with this. “Talking on social media is much less awkward than talking in person. You don’t have to actually face the person, and can always block their number if they don’t agree with your opinion,” they explain.
Gracie O’Brien, also 8th grade student at Monument doesn’t completely agree. “If I am talking to my friends on social media, it isn’t easier, because they already know my personality, but in front of others I don’t know as well personally, it’s easier to talk to them online because it isn’t as intimidating.”
But what makes the internet less nerve-racking than speaking in person?
Mrs. Congdon, Vice Principal of Monument Valley explains that many teens have begun using social media as a place to cyberbully others. “With my job, I tend to deal with most of the negatives of social media. You can’t see the other person’s feelings while saying hurtful things, but in person you can see the emotions, which tends to cause more guilt,” she stated.
“Cyberbullying has the potential to happen in any grade. I notice that the older you are, the more mature you act with it,” Mrs. Congdon again explains. But, the more it is used badly throughout the school, the more kids begin to lose trust in eachother, which makes it harder to come to school without lacking confidence.
But, not just the unpleasant sides of students have come out on social media. Oliver also noticed changes in people’s personalities while they are on the internet, versus off. “I notice people who are usually very shy in person, have very bold, strong personalities online.” Many others see this too. Alyssa Kend, 8th grade student at monument explains that not being able to personally interact with someone is easier, because it doesn’t allow you to show your true emotions, especially when you can’t see how they are reacting. “In some ways, It makes people bolder to not know what others are really thinking, because you can trick yourself to believe whatever you want,” she finished.
Miranda Hastings, also an 8th grade student at Monument agrees. “People are more likely to be noticed if they express themselves more. Some are too shy to do this in person, so they chose to do it online.”
But to some people, social media is a good result. “It allows you to connect with friends, and meet new people.” Mrs. Congdon again explains. “But I do understand that we need balance.” She explains that using social media is good, but be able to walk away from it when you need to. “It’s important to unplug sometimes, but since it’s so new, it’s exciting to use.”
Social media is looked at from good and bad points of view. It has become the biggest break in technology, resulting in many ways at Monument Valley. But the real question is; What’s next?