STUDENT WRITERS: So what? The real impact on young people

STUDENT WRITERS PROGRAM
This week featuring: ERSKINE ACADEMY

by Hannah Soule, Vassalboro

We all have bad days. Maybe your cat got run over or maybe the jelly in your PB and J sandwich made the bread way too soggy for the desired taste of the sandwich, or maybe you’ve had your head in your screen all day. I find myself having days where I ponder life more than others, where I come up with incredibly insane situations that I would never be in, and then I find myself having days where it kills me to tear my eyes away from my screen for two seconds. Social media is a disease that is being spread upon the youth. Many teens are struggling to find motivation and purpose. Very engaging and authentic opening paragraph, with a clear thesis!

The day I was handed my iPhone was the day my life changed. I stopped being the carefree child that didn’t have a care in the world. I was consumed with dark thoughts. I now had voices in my head making me second guess if my picture was pretty enough, if someone would say something about my imperfections, and if I needed to lose a little extra weight because I didn’t look like the supermodels that would pop up in my ads. My care-free spirit suddenly started to care. That’s what’s happening to our youth. If you hand your child a smartphone, it’s not a matter of if they will become consumed with darkness, it’s the matter of when. Wow!

Growing up a girl, all eyes are now on you and how you mature. I personally hear it all the time, “ oh wow Hannah, it looks like you have lost weight.” or “ Hannah, you look so different”, as if they are looking for these things the second I arrive in their presence, but for a few minutes you have the gladdening thought of the comment. Social media, however, can take this comment too far; all of a sudden the need for compliments takes over and you find yourself googling how to lose weight or how to be prettier. No girl should have to go through the expectations that society puts out for us. All of this could be avoided if the unfair comparison between teenagers and supermodels stopped. 72% of all teens use Instagram daily. This data is scary because that is 72% of the youth being brainwashed everyday.

Sixty-nine percent of children have their own devices by the age of 12, which was a 41% increase from 2015. The problem keeps growing and won’t stop. Smartphones were introduced in 2007 and from 2010 to 2015 visits to doctors regarding depression jumped nearly 30%. Now, I know it is hard to believe that social media causes depression. It is not a direct cause, however, it is a major contribution.

Technology is killing kids’ sense of adventure and their creative wavelengths. Sure, you may think that your kid has it under control because they still get active. For example, they will walk your dog (yay, exercise) but soon enough the whole world knows that your little Susie took old sparky for a walk. Parents now observe children with their eyes gleaned (Glued?) to a screen instead of drawing a picture or playing with friends.

Social media is causing kids’ minds to alter completely. Thirty years ago the biggest worry in parents’ minds was if their kids were going to eat a worm at recess; today the biggest worry in a parents mind is if their child will be a victim of this darkness that consumes young teens. Social media causes so much hate and discontent that we can’t experience the joys of walking alone at night or leaving the house in the morning and making it back just in time for dinner. This is a problem that will become out of hand if we do not take action today.

Student Writer’s Program: What Is It?

The Town Line has published the first in what we hope will be many articles from local students under the heading of the “Student Writer’s Program.” While it may seem plainly evident why The Town Line would pursue this program with local schools and students, I think it’s worth the time to highlight the reasons why we enthusiastically support this endeavor.

Up front, the program is meant to offer students who have a love of writing a venue where they can be published and read in their community. We have specifically not provided topics for the students to write on or about, and we have left the editing largely up to their teachers. From our perspective this is a free form space provided to students.

From the perspective of the community, what is the benefit? When considering any piece that should or could be published, this is a question we often ask ourselves at The Town Line. The benefit is that we as community are given a glimpse into how our students see the world, what concerns them, and, maybe even possible solutions to our pressing problems. Our fundamental mission at the paper is to help us all better understand and appreciate our community, our state, and our nation through journalism and print.

We hope you will read these articles with as much interest and enjoyment as we do. The students are giving us a rare opportunity to hear them out, to peer into their world, and see how they are processing this world we, as adults, are giving them.

To include your high school, contact The Town Line, townline@townline.org.

 
 

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1 reply
  1. Neil Farrington
    Neil Farrington says:

    Having raised teen children for over 35 years I can verify how destructive social media may be to our young children. It’s refreshing to see our youth recognizing the pitfalls of our digital world. Great article

    Reply

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