Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

Key Club Plants a Tree
Key Club Plants a Tree
Ms. Marcotte, Advisor • May 17, 2024

You may have noticed a new addition to the Tuscarora High School grounds this week, and no, that tree was not always there! This past Monday, May 13 around 2:30 p.m....

Is Instagram Toxic To Our Society?

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     Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks next to Facebook. Instagram allows for photo sharing, direct messaging and 24-hour story posts. This generation of teenagers are famous for technology and social media use. Some adults even go as far to say that some teens are addicted. Addiction may sound a bit extreme on the surface, so let’s take a look at the official definition.

According to Dictionary.com, addiction is defined as: “The state of being compulsively committed to a habit or practice or to do something that is psychologically or physically habit forming…to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” This sounds extremely familiar to the act of scrolling through your feed on Instagram, but also familiar to an invention called a Skinner Box.

  

      A Skinner Box, created by psychologist B.F Skinner, is a box occupied by a mouse and a lever. When the mouse presses the lever, a treat will sometimes be rewarded but other times, nothing will happen. This causes the mouse to continuously press the lever in order to receive a reward. This behavior is comparable to the act of scrolling on Instagram because individuals will often scroll continuously until they are rewarded with an entertaining post. However, one post won’t fulfill the need or scratch the itch of the user, which leads to even more scrolling that could last hours. 

    

      While continuous and compulsive scrolling is a big issue, studies show that many individuals (women especially) with higher use are linked to issues with depression, body image and self esteem. Individuals on the app typically compare themselves to images posted by others. Camille Leak, a student at Tuscarora High School, stated: “When I first downloaded the app I was so worried about what people thought of me and I was super selective of what I posted… but now I just post on it for fun.” This is a perfect example of how many teens have experienced the stressful feeling associated with posting a photo on Instagram along with the need for likes and comments on said photo.

Instagram should be a place for positive energy and fun times with friends and family, not a place that induces insecurities and negative thoughts.

 

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