Bay District Schools mental health counselor Ken Chisholm believes that social media lead to anxiety and depression.
“The most affected age groups are middle and high schoolers,” Chisholm said. “We expect about 90% of them are negatively impacted through social media, with a negative self-image.”
Besides self-image issues, many students stay up later at night, scrolling through social media. That leads to students being tired during class time, which can result in lower grades.
“Well, one of the things we’re seeing is that kids are staying up late at night online and addressing these kinds of things with peers,” Chisholm said. “And they’re looking at really negative things.”
Recently, the Wall Street Journal published internal documents from Facebook, showing that 32% of teenage girls who deal with body image issues were negatively affected by Instagram.
“Back when I was a child, if some conflict happened at school, home was a sanctuary,” Chisholm said. “You know we could get away from it for a little while. And now we have a situation where kids can’t get away from it.”
Now students are constantly surrounded by their peers through social media presence. That has led to an increase in cyberbullying as well, Chisholm said.