Social Media: The Uprising Problem


Destiny Patterson

Marika Van Valkenburgh on her phone

Destiny Patterson, Staff Reporter

As the turn of the new century began, the internet became the new sensation for teens around the world. The first phone with internet connection was the Nokia 9000 Communicator which was released in 1996. After the release of this phone flip phones became widespread. Then in 2007 the first iPhone became the rave. Along with the release of the new iPhone, new social media platforms were created. Some of these platforms include Myspace, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok formerly known as 

These new phones and social media platforms became a problem and the problem most seen by doctors was increased mental illnesses and disorders. The rate of adolescents reporting symptoms of major depression in a given year increased by 52% from 2005 to 2017. From 2009 to 2017, it grew by 63% in adults ages 18 to 25. Young adults experiencing psychological distress in a given month grew 71% from 2008 to 2017. Even worse, the rate of suicidal thoughts in young adults and teens increased during that same time. The most shocking fact that I found is that child suicide rates increased by up to 150%, and self-harm by girls ages 10 to 14 nearly tripled. These patterns point to social media. 

The real question is what did teens do in the times where there weren’t cell phones? Teens used their homes landline phone to talk to others and if you had another phone in the house a parent could pick it up and start listening to your conversation. Crazy right? A lot of teens used to talk on the phone with their friends for hours usually resulting with their parents getting mad that they’re taking up the landline. Teens had a lot of sleepovers with their friends as well, they used to do things like play board games which aren’t as popular now and they used to create CDs for their friends with all their favorite songs on them. One thing that they had was cassette tapes and cd players which are not as popular now since we have phones to listen to any music at any time we want. Life has changed so much in the past 20 years and we (the newer generations) haven’t realized it because all of this new technology is now the new norm.  

Going back to the use of social media, what are some of the ways that we can solve some of these uprising problems that teens and young adults face today? Some are limiting your time on your phone and focusing on other hobbies or things you may do. Some things you can do are read, go outside and take a walk, spend time with your family, play board games with friends, and even try to start a new hobby like drawing or getting into a new sport. It really doesn’t matter what you spend your time doing, just get away from your phone for a little bit and maybe we can slowly but surely solve these problems in people today.