Social Media Toxic at SPASH

Areil Stanczyk

Different social media platforms

Here at SPASH just like any high school, social media is a big part of most students’ lives whether it is Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Though most students use Snapchat, a few have made Instagram pages to bring awareness to the sports at SPASH to inform other students when and where games are at. A few anonymous students have taken some pages a bit too far. They did this by creating pages and posting about bad parking jobs, SPASH TEA(a page where students talk about each other), and PDA pictures of students without their permission which left some victims and viewers feeling a little disturbed and not happy at all. Social Media especially “INSTAGRAM ” can be toxic for students going to any school, especially here at SPASH.

Victims response

Victims of these different pages had very contrasting reactions to being posted on them. Some weren’t affected by them being posted on the “SPASH PDA” Instagram page though they were not very happy about being on their page without giving their permission. An anonymous SPASH upperclassman says, “People didn’t see me differently in any way because no one saw it at first because the page was not very popular at first ”. They also said that it didn’t affect their mental health because though they found it weird they also found it kinda funny at the same time. They also never thought about going to the principal or cops here at SPASH because they did not think it was necessary to make it that big of a deal. When asked if they felt at all cyberbullied by the page they said no because they knew that the owner of the page did it as a joke even if the victim did not find it funny at the time.

An Invasion of Privacy

Though some victims didn’t care about being posted on the “SPASH PDA” page, not all of the victims felt the same. One anonymous source says they felt like they had no privacy after seeing the photo and were generally upset that it was posted on a page that was not their own. They had people who laughed at them and made them feel bad. They said, “ I know they didn’t mean to make me feel that way but it did hurt my feelings”. It did end up kinda affecting their mental health by making them feel and giving them a bit of anxiety because they didn’t know who was taking their photo. They said, “ I felt like I had to look over my shoulder for a while because it felt like my privacy was invaded”. Yes, they reported the photo that was taken of them to Instagram but they don’t know if it was taken down or not because they blocked the page after. Unlike the other victim, they did think about reporting the page to the principal here at SPASH but did not because they were too scared to. They did feel cyberbullied because the page took away their right to privacy in a way.

Viewer weighs in

Most viewers of the page find the pages weird and creepy especially with photos being taken of people they know without their permission. An Anonymous viewer says “Yes I see them differently because what if what is being said is true”. They said they don’t mean to see people differently but, rumors can change people’s perspective without a person sometimes realizing it. They said they would be surprised if it didn’t affect their mental health because people may treat them differently. Also, the fact that people are taking photos without their permission is downright crazy. They never thought about posting on the SPASH tea page whether they would be kept anonymous or not because there could be some bad consequences. They had multiple friends on the SPASH PDA page and they were not happy about it because it felt like an invasion of privacy. They felt that it is not ok to be posted on these social media pages. Sure some pages are funny like “SPASH BAD PARKING”, but others are creepy and weird.

Statistics and Research

Statistics and research shows that Instagram is the MOST toxic Social media. According to Wall Street Journal, 19% of British and American users combined find themselves feeling bad and having issues with their mental health after scrolling through social media, mostly Instagram because of the social norms that are on social media such as body image and always needing to have the “perfect” life about 2 million teens use Instagram every day. 

The Oxford Internet Institution research found that 30% of reported regular bullying, and only 3% was both off and online. Their research was aimed towards 15-year-olds. Now imagine the numbers if their research was aimed at 13-20-year olds. In a 2020 study by the Ad Council, found that social isolation is one of the few main causes of loneliness; 73% of respondents partook in social media and technology to form interpersonal relationships. This shed a light on why social media was a concern for mental health.

Ad Council launched a mental health initiative “sound it out” which used the power of music to speak to the well-being of kids from age 10-14 years olds. They used music to spread awareness for mental health concerns related to social media. They used music because it was one of the few things everyone had in common.


Social media is and can be toxic for teens and “INSTAGRAM” needs to reevaluate people’s posts because the beauty standards are outrageous and cyberbullying whether or not it is the owner’s intent needs to be taken care of. We could easily fix this issue by being more aware of people’s feelings and how a post may affect someone’s mental health. We can also bring more light to mental health issues on social media such as ads and posts.