Is Social Media Good for Society?

January 31, 2020
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHEN BLUE FOR TIME FOR KIDS. HANDS: JURGITA VAICIKEVICIENE—EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES. REFLECTION: IMAGE SOURCE/GETTY IMAGESPHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHEN BLUE FOR TIME FOR KIDS. HANDS: JURGITA VAICIKEVICIENE—EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES. REFLECTION: IMAGE SOURCE/GETTY IMAGES

Students today have never lived in a world without social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are a few of the most popular social-media websites and apps. They can be a fun way to connect with friends and family, especially those who live far away. Sometimes, people use social media to find jobs. But social media also attracts cyberbullies and trolls who seek to anger or annoy people. And hackers use social media to steal people’s personal information. Here, six TIME for Kids readers answer our debate question: Is social media good for society?

YES!

COURTESY DEEPIKA GROVER

Akshat Chakrabarti, 8

Manalapan Township, New Jersey

Social media is a great way to connect with people who you may not see all the time. It’s also great for making friends. Social media helps you build connections with kids who have the same interests. It is a quick way for people to get to know each other, even if they’re living across the world from one another.

NO!

WARREN BOND PHOTOGRAPHY, COURTESY HINA NOORANI

Rania Noorani, 11

Duluth, Georgia

Although social media is somewhat fun, we’ve gotten to the point where people can’t put down their phones. Social media is changing our world completely. It causes people not to be their true selves and to pretend to be happy, just for public approval.

YES!

COURTESY MARTINA ARNOLD

Matthew Wrigley, 10

Farmington, Maine

Social media is good for society because it lets you write to people if you need help. You can interact with other people and have fun. You can learn from people who live in different countries. If you have a question, you can ask someone. There is cyberbullying, but you can block people who post mean comments.

NO!

COURTESY ALEX AND GRACE ONG

Katie Ong, 10

Los Angeles, California

When children use social media, they post stuff that parents may not want others to see. This may affect their privacy. Also, when kids use social media, they may be anxious that their friends’ lives are better than theirs. Some people only post the good parts of life. This can lead others to jealousy or depression.

YES!

COURTESY LAWANDA COSBY

Jada Mosley, 10

Carol Stream, Illinois

In a world that is sometimes boring, social media offers incredible benefits. It can be entertaining. It can spread positivity and kindness. Furthermore, social media can introduce peers and children to new content and positive ideas.

NO!

PHOTO HAVEN, COURTESY PAYAL AGGARWAL

Sia Satish, 10

West Windsor Township, New Jersey

Students can be enticed by their friends to follow trends on TikTok or Snapchat. They try to portray themselves as cool, to fit into a group. Sometimes, social media promotes bad practices or harmful activities. This can hurt people physically and mentally.

The next debate: Should cities be car-free? Email your opinion to tfkeditors@time.com by March 17. Your response might be featured in an upcoming issue.

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