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The Student News Site of Arcata High School

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The Pepperbox

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Doing it for the ‘Gram?

“[My mom] just doesn’t like what social media does to kids and their image of themselves,”

Most students at Arcata High have deep connections within social media. However, a smaller percentage do not have social media at all or have only recently gotten it.

Senior Andrew Trieu is among the students at AHS who have never had social media. He says his lack of social media is due to his parent’s concern about its effects on kids. 

“[My mom] just doesn’t like what social media does to kids and their image of themselves,” Trieu said. 

Even though a lack of social media can help protect kids from negative effects on their lives and mental health, it may also lead to issues communicating with peers and understanding the goings-on of school.

“If I ever wanna contact anybody I have to get their number, which is a little harder than just asking for someone’s social media,” Trieu said, “It’s also kinda hard sometimes to find out what’s going on event-wise.”

Mason Blair, a junior who only recently got a form of social media, Snapchat, agrees with this sentiment. “Now that I have [social media], I’m in on more stuff, like, I hear about more stuff,” Blair said, “I’m included in more things and I talk to more people.”

Also, students realize the negative effects social media has had or would have on them. “I feel like when I didn’t have social media, I was a little more present and I wasn’t as distracted,” Blair said.

“If I had social media, I’d be addicted to it. I procrastinate now and I would procrastinate so much more if I had social media,” Trieu said.

Other students have taken it upon themselves to limit their own social media and phone usage. “I get to kinda fly under the radar and not get sucked into drama and social cliques that I don’t care about,” senior Ian Drop, who uses a flip phone, said.

The effect of a lack of social media that Drop said to be most prevalent was, “being more present with individuals in the moment and putting more effort into relationships.”

The limited access to peers that many students without social media experience can lead to feelings of exclusion. However, students without social media may also be better off as they do not face the negative implications that many of their peers experience every day.

This same perspective can be seen at a national level with the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s recent statement on social media for young people. According to the Time Article “The U.S. Surgeon General Fears Social Media Is Harming the ‘Well-Being of Our Children’” by Alice Park from May 26, 2023, Dr. Vivek said, “there isn’t enough data to say that social media platforms are safe for kids,” and, “there is growing evidence that social media use is associated with harms.”

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About the Contributor
Taya Holmes
Taya Holmes, Copy Editor
Taya Holmes is a reporter for The Pepperbox. This is her first year on The Pepperbox and she looks forward to learning more about journalism, but she has had much experience with writing in her AP Lang class last year. She eagerly anticipates writing on many different topics and types of stories. She is a senior at Arcata High School and is excited for college next year. She loves to go to the beach, hang out with friends, bake, and spend time with her dogs. You can contact her by email.
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