Social Media for Children vs. Adults Social Media for Children vs. Adults By Logan, Grade 9March 2022 Did you know that some people who have been watching TikTok for a prolonged amount of time have tics? Doctors have found that social media, especially the notoriously addictive TikTok, has been the main cause of this sudden rise in tics in girls. Doctors have found that social media is causing it. Social media platforms must restrict users under the age of eighteen to avoid detriments to the users’ mental health, sleep quality, and declined ability to focus. My first reason is it can ruin one’s mental health. The Mayo Clinic Staff states, “A 2019 study of over 6500 12 to 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that those who spent over three hours a day using social media might be heightened for mental health problems,” (Mayo Clinic Staff). Overuse of social media demonstrates that kids in middle school, who use too much social media, can be subject to a worse mental state than they were before they started using social media for a prolonged amount of time. As long as they are looking on social media, they are at risk of mental health problems in the future and present. Some mental problems these people might experience could be depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Secondly, it can make someone’s sleep quality worse. From the Mayo Clinic Staff, “A 2016 study of over 450 teens found that greater social media use, nighttime social media use, and emotional investment in social media — such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on — were each linked with worse sleep quality and higher levels of anxiety and depression,” (Mayo Clinic Staff). Sleep is very important for one’s health. Not only does it help you regain energy, but it also helps improve your mental health. Without enough sleep, your body doesn’t get enough energy. A lack of energy leads to a less happy person. Lastly, it can disrupt a person’s focus on an activity. I have seen many people in my school who have their phones out to check their social media or play games on their phones. They are in their seats looking at their phones and the teacher comes by and catches them. This results in them losing their phones and getting detention. The kids are looking at their phones and not paying attention to what the teacher is saying. This example demonstrates how the use of social media on phones can distract young kids. If kids don’t have social media accounts at such a young age, they won’t get in trouble during school about going on their phones to check social media. However, some people say that social media platforms can provide a connection between friends. Dr. Jensen, a clinical psychologist at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, said, “But it can also carry lots of positive things like support, connection, creativity, and skill mastery,” (Hughes). Even though there are positives, the negative effects outweigh the positive effects. Many people can agree that mental health is more important than connecting with friends through a screen. A solution to this problem is meeting up with a friend in person so that you still get to talk with your friend, but not on a screen. In conclusion, social media has been taking a toll on young people around the globe because it can ruin their mental health, make them addicted to the platforms, and disrupt a person’s focus on an activity. Social media users can have worse mental health if they use it for too long. So, the next time you whip out your phone to look at social media, think about what you could do instead.