The Validity of the Social Dilemma


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People in a group that are not interacting with each other.

Emma Lawman, Reporter

 If you have ever watched The Social Dilemma then you know of the urgency with which some speak about the dangers of social media. Institutions such as the Mayo Clinic specifically discuss the harm that social media can and does have on teenagers. The Mayo Clinic and websites such as Help Guide are stating that side effects of too much social media use can result in the development of mental health issues. 

          It is well known that social media takes up a good portion of the time of the people who use it. For example, according to the website,, ¨ On average, people spend 147 minutes, or two hours and twenty-seven minutes, on social media daily.¨  HelpGuide showed that people who reduced their social media use to thirty minutes a day saw an improvement in their mental health. The more time on social media you spend, the more negative side-effects seem to arise. 

     Taking up our time is not the only problem with social media. For example, fear of missing out  (FOMO) has caused people to develop anxiety and negative feelings about their own lives compared to others due to content they see on social media. According to Mclean Hospital, ¨ A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance.¨ This finding is backed by findings from a 2016 Mayo Clinic study that states social media use during the sleeping hours can cause an emotional dependency on social media; the same study also showed that not enough sleep can cause anxiety and depression.

   Most recently, there are people who are showing tourette-like symptoms that can be linked to social media. These people who are showing these symptoms are majority girls; which is unusual because, for the most part, tics appear in boys more than girls. Examples of these tics are, involuntary movements and vocalizations. Many girls who started having these tics have been watching the same tik-tok influencers. 

There are people that spend hours on social media a day, which is known to be unhealthy. Some say that social media is an addiction, like drug or alcohol addiction. Whether that is true or not, that does not mean that you can´t take control of your social media use. A good example would be,  the people who cut their social media use down to thirty minutes a day, that were mentioned above. While social media can be a difficult habit to break, it is not impossible.