Effects of Social Media on Students’ Mental Health


Landan Hambly

It is not uncommon to see today’s youth on social media in some form or another. Of course, this does great things for many students, such as making it easier for them to keep in touch with friends. Still, there are many adverse effects, especially when it comes to teens and preteens. According to the article “Is Social Media Bad For Your Mental Health?” by News Bureau at Middle Georgia State University, social media can increase anxiety, stress, depression, body image concerns, and loneliness in teens and young adults. So, why is this? 

Between the ages of 10 and 12, your brain goes through changes that make social rewards feel more satisfying. Receptors for the “happy hormones,” oxytocin and dopamine, multiply in a part of the brain called the ventral striatum, which makes preteens extra sensitive to attention and admiration from others. Historically, this drive for approval from others has helped children develop healthy social skills. “But arriving at school in a new pair of designer jeans, hoping your crush will smile at you in the hallway, is worlds away from posting a video on TikTok that may get thousands of views and likes,” said Dr. Mitch Prinstein, APA’s chief science officer.

Due to the access to social media, Teens  get instant social rewards on social media sites with likes, comments, views, and follows, kids are increasingly going online for this validation.  They receive validation much quicker and easier than they do in real life. Because of this, young people’s brain development may make them more susceptible to the exploitation and harm of social media.


  If social media can be so harmful ? How how can you keep your environment on the internet a positive space? One of the most important things to remember while on social media is to be intentional. Instead of continuously doom-scrolling, practice taking in and being mindful of what you see and hear on these sites. Make sure to follow pages that bring you joy and make you feel better about yourself .  When you log on,  look for things that make you feel good. You should also avoid using these apps before bed, as the blue light from your device’s screen can negatively affect how much sleep you get. 


Another great thing to do is limit your time spent scrolling each day. In a small study published by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, people who limit their screen time to 30 minutes a day reported happier moods and feelings. And if you are feeling depressed or anxious because of social media, take a break! Don’t keep scrolling if it is making you feel that way. Sign off for a while and do something that brings you joy!



Zara Abrams (2022, February 3). Why Young Brains are Especially Vulnerable to Social Media. https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2022/social-media-children-teens 


News Bureau (2022, June 16). Is Social Media Bad For Your Health? https://www.mga.edu/news/2022/06/is-social-media-bad-for-your-mental-health.php#:~:text=Research%20studies%20note%20the%20connection,adults%20(APA%2C%202022)


Sannyu McDonald Harris (2022, August 18). 7 Healthy Habits for Social Media. https://www.conehealth.com/services/behavioral-health/7-healthy-habits-of-social-media/