School vs. Social Media

Schools begin to express concern for the wellbeing of their students.


Students spend too much time and energy

The ability to access social media whenever and wherever greatly plays into the gain of insecurities.

According to the Daily Mail, over 40 schools from ten different US states are filing lawsuits against multiple social media platforms due to claims that they ‘knowingly caused harm to children’. Schools have concluded that social media platforms, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok are harmful to younger users. For example, the “Blackout Challenge” is growing more common on social media, which encourages children to strangle themselves. Instagram, owned by Facebook, has been accused of “making children insecure” especially in reference to teenage girls. Social media plays a great role in the development of negative body image and low self esteem due to the comparison made when younger viewers see idealized images. According to CNN, social media has caused a rise in anxiety and depression, causing students to be less likely to attend school and more likely to act out or partake in substance use. Schools are working to recognize negative mental health symptoms that could affect children long term.

Social media is creating insecurities in young people all over the world.
Although social media has many benefits, it seems to cause more damage than good.

Critics feel that the school’s attempted lawsuits will not be successful considering it will be very difficult to gather enough evidence to support their claims. The social media platforms respond to this by explaining that their programs already consist of parental controls that may be set. They follow this by claiming that they are working to monitor and decrease the spread of negative content that may encourage eating disorders, self harm, and suicide among others. These problems arose when experts concluded the number of those considering suicide rose from 19% to 30% within a decade. It is believed by experts that strict parents and the strike of COVID 19 played a large role in the rise. Although, social media was seen as one of the most important factors due to it’s promotion of comparison to others.

The main platforms being targeted include Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube.

According to Frantz law group, at the Federal District Court in San Francisco County, “Social media companies are and have been well aware of the harm they cause.” Seattle Public Schools in Seattle, Washington were the first to take action on the situation. They sued social media companies in January due to the effects on students mental health. Since then, a 109 page suit has been filed by all 23 districts in San Mateo County, near San Francisco. Fort Wayne, Indiana claims that social media specifically targets young, developing minds of pre-teens and teens. They hope to use the any money they gain to fight against the exploitation of young minds by social media. Social media had been facing hardships due to cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, addiction to screen time, and common development of negative body image. Although this was not the original purpose of social media platforms, such effects have grown out of control, which is why schools have stepped in on behalf of the wellbeing of their students.