Social Media Series Introduction

Are social media companies willing to pay any price for teens’ attention without regard to their well-being? That’s what legislators have been asking this fall.

Large social media companies are grappling with the consequences of putting user data on the market. Facebook is under fire for ignoring the adverse effects that its platform has on teenagers. Furthermore, Facebook has disbanded its team designated to hunt down disinformation. Parents, administrators, and doctors have called for the U.S. government to renew internet regulations. 

Roger McNamee, an early advisor to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, wrote in TIME Magazine:

“Facebook will not fix itself. All incentives direct the company to stay on its current course. And recent history would support the cynic’s view that our democracy and government are too broken to rein in any large company. But we are now at a point where further inaction by Congress will likely result in ongoing catastrophes from which we may not recover for a generation or more.”

Mayfield students are not exempt from the toll that social media has taken on their mental health and physical wellbeing especially in a post quarantine era. 

Mayfield’s Advanced and Beginning journalism classes sent out a Social Media Survey for the community with a series of questions ranging from whether social media has affected them in a negative or positive way to what role it had on students during quarantine. 

For example, in the survey, it was reported that over 65% of the respondents stated that they feel obligated to have social media accounts and 53% of those surveyed generally describe their relationship with social media in a negative manner. 

The Crier has collaborated with the Mayfield Journalism classes on a collection of articles using the information from that survey to discuss how platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and many others have affected how we view our body, where we get our news, how we interact with each other, and many other topics. We are excited to share our team coverage with our community