OP/ED: The Dangers Of Social Media For College Students


College students across Mercy College use social media on a daily basis. Although social media has connected us more than ever, have we brushed past the potential detriment it’s had on us? 

Platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat have all established their place in the social media space. 

Some may share negative sentiments given the nature in which people are using the platforms and how it’s been a consuming part of everyday life. Partly because of its addictive quality and tactics, but its ability to relentlessly distract.

This remains a prevalent issue throughout colleges and all other forms of education alike. With that said, people are starting to take notice.

Across the dorms at Mercy College, there are countless people on their phones either scrolling mindlessly on TikTok or trying to catch up on their Twitter feed. 

This happens throughout the day in a cycle-like pattern. Some may notice students looking downward in a trance-like state on their phones. 

So many students seemingly appear as if they’re disconnected and isolated from the rest of the world. 

When I finally managed to get someone in Main Hall to speak, they’d say; “Social media has connected us but it’s divided us because so many of my friends get stuck on their phones when I’m trying to hang out with them.” 

The student claimed that a few of his friendships had previously fallen out because they weren’t the same anymore. 

He went on to explain how there have been many past arguments surrounding social media in their group chats via text or in person. 

Most of those arguments were regarding politics and the world news distracting them from what really mattered. 

Their friendship and education took a nosedive amidst all the chaos. 

Unfortunately, some of his friends were being flooded on their social media feeds at an uncontrollable rate. As a result, misinformation spread like wildfire, especially in a year like 2020. 

Everyone believed social media to be accurate and true, yet no one realized it was controlled by big tech corporations. 

Recent revelations with those on Twitter and Facebook have shown us what we feared all this time. 

Everyone wanted to be right in determining what was true or false in the world at that time. 

Maybe that’s why according to Pew Research Center, only 1 in 10 Americans believe that social media has positively impacted society. 

With that said, the global and local views of this matter will vary widely between different political stances and beliefs. 

This may be the case for adults generally, but it’s quite the opposite for young adults. 

Based on data from Pew Research, they’ve determined that younger adults are more likely to state the positive benefits social media has had on the country. 

Although it is up to debate even to this day, there isn’t a doubt that social media has positives and negatives to take into account. 

Hopefully, sometime soon, people will recognize that the argument is not as one-sided as many people may believe.