What Young People Wish They’d Known About Social Media

(VitalNews.org) – Young people constantly hear about the downsides to social media as adults continue to shove the negative effects of it in their faces. Kids who are growing up with social media have a much different childhood than those who did not grow up with social media. Kids who are a bit older now are speaking out to younger kids about what they wish they’d known about social media.

Bao Le, a freshman at Vanderbilt University, explained his experience, saying “It’s so easy to look at your friends’ stories and feel this feeling of FOMO, of missing out and comparing yourself, like: ‘Oh, my friend just got a new car.’ It’s like this overwhelming sense of comparison.”

He continued, “But the things that people post on social media, it’s just the highlight reel, like the 1% of their life that they want to showcase to other people.”

Doreen Malata, a senior at the University of Maryland, said, “My main point of advice would be not to take it too seriously. Be yourself. I feel like what I was exposed to as a 12-year-old was much more limited than what is accessible to 12-year-olds nowadays. Younger kids want to be who they idolize.”

“It seems like it would be really easy to just put your phone down and stop scrolling. But it is not. If there was advice that I could give to my younger self, it would be to tell my parents to set up time limits for me — even though I would have never said that when I was starting social media. Also, I personally would not let my kid have TikTok. I would try to resist it as long as I could. It’s so addictive,” said Sienna Keene, a high school senior in California.

Many students said that they felt like some restrictions should have been set, some said they’d never let their kids use it, and some people said that they wished kids had more time to be kids, instead of jumping onto social media.

One student mentioned cell phone detoxes. “I’ve been taking phone detoxes. On weekends, I’ll take a social media detox for 10 hours or the majority of the day. I’ll hang out with my family, ride my bike. I only have notifications for my messages and workspaces. I don’t have any notifications on for social media apps,” Ana Havidic said.

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