Issue: Is social media even worth it anymore?

Issue: Is social media even worth it anymore?

Editorial Board

Anyone with any type of social media account has probably heard by now that Facebook and some other platforms under its umbrella—including Instagram and Whatsapp—experienced outages on Monday that lasted for several hours.

This was the longest that Facebook has been down since 2008, when a bug crashed the young website for most of the day.

Interestingly enough, this blackout also came just a day after Frances Haugen, a former product manager for Facebook’s civic misinformation team, revealed herself as the whistleblower who leaked several documents showing how the platform has increasingly put their own profits ahead of public safety, especially among younger users.

This isn’t all that’s surprising, considering how impactful social media is on teens and young adults. 

According to a study done with the Youth, Media and Wellness Research Lab, 21% of teens “felt down” after engaging with social media, with half of those teens saying those feelings were related to their body image.

Image-based sites like Instagram are especially guilty of promoting negative self-esteem in its users. One of the leaked documents from Facebook shows that their site worsened body image issues in one in three girls, and that 40% of Instagram users in the United States and the United Kingdom felt “unattractive” after using the app.

There are plenty of other issues to go along with social media these days: data-mining, security breaches, stolen personal information and “fake news,” to name a few.

Social media is also a danger to productivity at times. We’re all guilty of spending way longer on TikTok or Instagram than we meant to, and research from GlobalWebIndex shows that the average user spent about two hours and 24 minutes a day on social media in 2020.

Of course, social media isn’t all bad. In a Pew Research Lab study, 31% of teens said social media had a mostly positive impact on their lives, allowing them to connect with others, express themselves and find information and entertainment.

Still, with all the negatives that come with social media, it’s not a bad idea to unplug once in a while and take a break. Your mental health—and your grades—will thank you.


The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.