The Place

Actions

How Social Media and Smart Phones are Having a Negative Impact on Schools

Harms of Social Media
Posted at 1:09 PM, Sep 18, 2023

The state of Utah has launched an ad blitz warning parents of the harms social media platforms may be causing youth.

The ads encourage people to get offline and make in-person connections.

We talked with Benjamin Horsley, Chief of Staff for Granite School District, about the negative impact social media and smart phones are having on the school environment. Those harms include perpetuating bullying, harassment and threats.

Horsely says social media has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to school restrooms and harassment in the form of accounts that push "challenges" to students to vandalize or film each other in compromising positions.

He says the Granite District has even had to close certain restrooms at certain times to increase supervision and to provide safety and security to students and staff.

Horsley also says they receive fake threats two to three times a week causing unnecessary panic and concern.

Mental impact and peer pressure is off the charts as a result of the constant pressures and distractions caused by smart phone devices. Parents expect schools to monitor their child's media usage, but some students have several accounts on one platform.

They also say parents will call or text during class, which is also causing distractions.

Visit socialharms.utah.gov for more resources and information.