No one is saying that social media is negative all-around; however, as we have seen, it is not the perfect haven that some believe it to be. Social media is home to an environment riddled with negative influences – with mental illness waiting at its doorstep. The excessive use of these platforms not only affects students’ personal emotions, but how they create and deal with the relationships in their lives. As I have hoped to address, these consequences are fatal to the developing persona of college students. At a time where academics should be a strong suit, the last thing undergraduates want to worry about is their psychological well-being. Thinking about the factors of social networking that influence health, it’s imperative that we, as a society, make a change. Understanding mental illness and how we can work to make campuses a comfortable and uplifting community for those suffering is the key to balancing the costs and the benefits. Although social media clearly has a significant impact on the mental health of college students, it is not a never-ending cycle. Disconnect; recharge. There are changes that can be made. It’s all up to you.
“Social media is like a knife, you can slice butter with it, or you can stab someone in the chest.” (Hanson 5)