Beauty standards, hacking and changing relationships: Wisconsin teens share their social media worries


Social media is turning into a larger a part of teenagers’ lives. Final 12 months, one survey estimated 62 % of teenagers are on social media day-after-day, and so they common utilizing social media about an hour and a half every day.

On the identical time, researchers are discovering hyperlinks between extra social media use and better ranges of tension and melancholy.

Leaders of social media firms are underneath growing scrutiny with Congressional hearings on TikTok occurring this week.

Along with conversations about social media with researchers, politicians and others, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Present” wished to listen to instantly from youngsters. This system has been making a better effort in current months to raise youth voices, which are usually underrepresented in information protection. In collaboration with colleges across the state, the present has produced youth-driven applications exploring renewable vitality, elections and different subjects.

On a program Friday about social media, “The Morning Present” requested youngsters in Beloit to weigh in by sharing their views. A WPR producer interviewed college students at Beloit Memorial Excessive College, the place they talked about social media’s results on relationships, its development, safety issues and extra.

Eleven college students answered the query: What worries you about social media? Their solutions are beneath, and the responses are frivolously edited for brevity and readability.

Affecting relationships

Nashaun, senior: I consider it’s good that individuals are capable of meet individuals from an additional distance away, however being so closely reliant on interacting with individuals on-line can forestall them from significant interpersonal connections, like face-to-face.

Nolan, senior: They engineer apps to be so addictive. I put my telephone on grayscale. They’re engineering all these colours to overstimulate your mind and hold you hooked on your telephone. … It’s also engineered to make you insecure. We see that with individuals’s attachment to likes and followers. The best way apps like Snapchat promote communities: You solely add your folks. You see one another’s tales. It additionally goes into that worry of lacking out.

Xavier, junior: I’m most anxious about individuals turning into too self-conscious — the entire magnificence requirements set by social media and what it is advisable to do with the intention to be labeled as “regular.” 

‘Changing into too massive’

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Jakendra, sophomore: It has change into the principle manner of interplay. We’re near that time. Lots of people spend a number of time on social media. I do, personally. However that’s my primary fear.

Alec, sophomore: It’s turning into too massive of a factor for the each day lives of individuals. They’re being obsessive about it after they don’t have to be.

Amery, senior: It’s type of taking us over. It’s extra of a persona factor, particularly with teenagers my age. We expect … that now we have to be at a lot Snapchat rating or have so many likes. It’s turning into extra of a persona than it’s an info web site.

Cadler, junior: Whenever you see developments come alongside, you are inclined to see extra individuals incorporate that into their persona and what choices they make going ahead. TikTok can outline many of the youthful era’s humorousness. One other group won’t discover (the identical factor) as a joke, however when that humorousness is almost all, it’s going to create a minority.

Getting hacked

Dawson, junior: (Social media) doesn’t actually fear me. I’m snug round it. However typically I really feel just like the hackers (fear me). A bit of little bit of that.

Trinity, junior: It’s getting a lot simpler to get into different individuals’s accounts today. Getting hacked is extra widespread. 

Different issues

Carter, sophomore: I’d prefer to say I’m cautious after I put up stuff, so I’m not too anxious about myself. However undoubtedly (with surveillance issues) simply the generic, “They may at all times be listening.” It’s type of bizarre. 

Maritza, senior: My primary fear is how a lot it adjustments, how briskly it adjustments and the way unpredictable it may be.