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The rise of social media has led itself to become the primary way individuals communicate in today’s modern world. It is a worldwide phenomenon and  a way to connect with friends, family and even strangers all around the world. It is the ubiquitous way people communicate. Social Media usage by youth is alarming and seems to be almost addictive, “According to a recent poll, 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day.” (O’Keefe & Pearson) The extended use of social media has significant impact on a young individual’s mental health as evidenced by affects on our communication, friendships, self-expression, bullying, sense of humanity and isolation.Social Media is used by many young people across the globe. The purpose of social media is to enhance communication between others. However, this technology is doing more harm than good. It is not only changing how today’s youth communicates, but how people interact with their friends, family, and loved ones. There is a strong concern in the media that the rise of social media platforms is abolishing personal interactions for the younger generations. It is ironic that these websites and applications were created to help individuals communicate, but it reality is negatively impacting young adults’ social skills. In general, people use these websites to talk and share insight on their lives to their friends that live in other cities, states, and countries. These platforms also allow users to connect with strangers. Similar interests and mutual friends or followers can create a sense of a personal relationship. This can can cause a person to feel as though they have a stronger personal connection to others than they actually have. These websites are becoming the new way to make friends. These new friends communicate predominately through the website or application. Nevertheless, communication is not the only way social media sites are used. When creating a social media page, people normally post content that represents them or their interests. They will post pictures of themselves and their friends and their friends comment on these posts. While adults are known to be more cautious about what they post and how they interact online. However, today’s youth uses social media in a way that could be seen as alarming. They immensely care about impressing others, they gain a sense popularity through the interesting pictures they post and how their followers and friends react to it. The comments left on their posts mean more to them than actual word of mouth. In order to the sensation of popularity they want, they try to get a reaction from controversial and contrived images of themselves. There is a need to be popular among youth which leads to “young girls and boys attempting to impress one another by showcasing themselves in mature situations or displaying their physique. For instance, many pictures that teenagers post online reveal underage drinking, smoking, and partying” (Zay). As a young person, sharing photos that show illicit behavior and activity can be damaging to one’s reputation and also one’s future. Self-expression of a young individual depicted by themselves on these platforms should be age appropriate. Young users will not tarnish their reputation and future if they post friendly content like pictures of their birthday or a vacation. It is common practice for  human resource managers to try and access Facebook or Twitter profiles of potential job applicants to get to know about a candidate’s true identity. This becomes a horror for many as the explicit posts are visible to the human resource managers as the job seeker does not set their profiles to private. Inappropriate posts can lead to someone’s dream internship or full-time offer being taken away or removes the the chance to interview for the position. Research has found that almost half of employers have rejected a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages. (The Telegraph) Some employers have also checked the candidates’ online details in Facebook pages to see if they are lying about their qualifications. Nowadays, younger generations have a complete disregard for their own privacy, opening doors to unwelcome predators or stalkers.A young person’s habit of constant posting on social media, has also made it become easier to target one another. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that is only done online typically through social media platforms. Bullying is strenuous on individual when done face-to-face, but is even harsher over the internet. When malicious comments are posted on an someone’s posts, anyone who follows both users can see them. However, since the attack is online sometimes there is no witness. This can make it harder for a victim to tell an adult or get help. The bully has an easier time insulting the other person because there is no face-to-face interaction. These kinds of attacks are harmful. While bullying in general is wrong, cyber bullying is questionably the worst form. The victims are more vulnerable and the insults made towards them are more malicious because “computers mask faces and the majority of insults, threats, and taunting go on without repercussion. There often is no make-up or apologies, because no one witnesses the harmful effect the words may carry” (Zay). Young people need to realize that bullying is always wrong. There is no excuse for the lack of empathy bullies have because they are not seeing the person in front of them. Social media should be used to communicate with each other and not to belittle others. With young people’s habit of constant use of these social media, less people are conversing in person. Many people are experiencing feelings of isolation due to the lack of personal interaction they recieve on a day-to-day basis. It is becoming normal to go have less human interactions with people on a daily basis. Young people are becoming more comfortable with conversing through their devices and less with their mouths. The lack of human interaction is a direct result of social technology. Without person-to-person interaction we will lose our conversational skills and experience discomfort with public speaking. Normal conversation and confrontation will be made more difficult for young individuals in the future because of their lack of experience with personal interaction, which can result inability to read one another’s body language. This development is not healthy step for society because humans are supposed to experience interactions with others or else it can lead to poor health. This kind of isolation is damaging to society because it is necessary to be personable. These new communication sites were made to improve communication, not destroy it. These social networks allow an individual to have thousands of friends or followers. However, these supposed “friends” are sometimes nothing more than strangers or acquaintances. We allow strangers to view our pages and profiles for insignificant reasons, such as seeing they have the same interest or go to the same college. We spend more time online virtually interacting with others, when we should be spending time with our friends in person. This lack of time spent with friends you see in real life can lead to shallower friendships. Many people care for their Facebook friends, but they don’t even know what is actually going on in their life behind the posts. While you might know what a few people had for breakfast from their posts online, you don’t know whether any of them are struggling with major life crisis. This is a ubiquitous practice in online friendships now, as the relationships are only based on knowledge users chose to share with their followers or friends. It is common that people now don’t realize that they have a crumbling or ruined friendships. It all stems from an underlying fear of being alone. Social media platforms help form meaningless friendships as noted prior. The connection makes you feel as if you closer than in actuality. Friendship is about being there for each other and being able to tell each other about important issues. It is not about who comments on Facebook quicker or who likes your Instagram posts the most. For some reason, we are now valuing our friendships on the frequency of interactions. People will get angry if a good friend does not like their post or be jealous if a significant other likes another woman or man’s photo. Social media can start negative feelings towards people because of they interact with others online. The constant use of social media is harmful to society and our view of humanity. When we contact our friends and family through these sites we are limiting ourselves to impersonal interactions. Your Facebook profile is how others can define you. You share your interests, your relationship status, your job and appearance. This representation of an individual lowers how we perceive people and humanity. We are known only as what we write on our pages. Our humanity is what lets individuals be their true selves. We have the right to control what we say and do, but should we have the right to give a false perception of who we, individuals, are because of the posts we share. Everyone is unique because of who we truly are. If we stop connecting with people at a personal level, than we have lost the relationships between another that gives us meaning to live and be a human being. We should be able to talk to one another at an intimate level about ourselves in person and make real friends. These social networks have damaged many things, but we must change our ways so that it does affect the way we are as human beings.Many people around the world use social media websites and applications. These platforms are now being a main source of communication for individuals and it is harmful to society and today’s youth. Social media needs to be kept as a tool to connect with others, but not be the primary source of how we communicate with one another. Social media is a great resource to allow long distance communication between your friends and loved ones, but there must be an endpoint. We cannot have social media become our main form of communication and interaction. While there are many positives to social technology, these positives outweigh the negatives that greatly impact many people. If we continue overusing the ideal of social media websites and applications, then it will further affect our communication, friendships, self-expression, bullying, sense of humanity and isolation in only fatalistic ways. There will never be is a substitute for personal interaction or a kind conversation. Social media is a problem and we must reduce our usage of the platforms for the good of humanity.Works CitedO’Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.” American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 Apr. 2011,”Half of Employers ‘Reject Potential Worker after Look at Facebook Page’.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 11 Jan. 2010,, Sarah. “What Sticks & Stones Can’t Do, Facebook Will-And More!.” USA Today Magazine, vol. 139, no. 2790, Mar. 2011, pp. 56-57. EBSCOhost,


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