Proposal Argument

Zachary Baker

Dr. Elise Greene

Engl. 400-B03


How Can We Reduce the Risk of “Facebook Depression?”

Have you ever had the feeling that you were trapped by social media accounts with the fact that you needed to check them every two minutes? Many people feel this urge to check their social media accounts multiple times a day. This can be identified as “Facebook depression.” This type of depression pertains to all social media accounts even though it identifies to Facebook specifically. This epidemic has been seen more and more often as social media accounts have become more popular. To help this epidemic from becoming worst than what it is, I would suggest having teachers educate students and parents on the dangers of using social media accounts, and have them focus mostly on “Facebook depression.”

First, I want to explain to you what exactly “Facebook depression” is. “Facebook depression” is defined as a, “depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression” (O’keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 800-804). It is a scary thought to think that something as simple as social media can cause someone to go into a depression. But, people fail to realize that social media accounts contain so many ways that someone can be bullied, attacked, and forced into this depression. Families fail to see that, “preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors,” (O’keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 800-804). These types of dangerous moves using Internet sites that come from “Facebook depression” are something that needs to be taught for students to avoid when they are using their social media accounts.

Do you ever compare yourself to other people on social media accounts? Do you ever ask questions like, how come this person is able to go on these fancy vacations all the time, while I barely have money to even pay for dinner? People have thoughts like this all the time while they are looking through their social media accounts. An issue with social media accounts is the fact that “Facebook depression” can be caused from comparing yourself to others on their social media accounts. There has been research done on this topic and it has found that, “making upward social comparisons, seeing oneself as inferior to others, are associated with negative health outcomes, such as greater depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem, and negative self-evaluations,” (Steers 703). This is something that teachers can help students avoid doing by teaching them the dangers of comparing yourself to others on social media accounts. To teach this, you could find videos on the internet that show situations like these and what the students should have done to avoid the situation. There are a lot of people out in the world that posts lots of pictures and posts to make themselves look superior to others, but they might be trying to hide something. So, to compare yourself to someone that might be doing this would only cause issues for yourself in the long run.

Now you may have a lot of friends on your social media accounts, but how many of them are actually your friends? Do you know why you have so many friends on social media accounts, but not so many friends in person? There is a reason for this, and it is so that we use social media accounts to make ourselves seem more popular than what we actually are. This goes back to the comparison problem that comes with social media accounts. The more friends that you have the more likely you are to compare yourself to someone throughout all of those “friends.” Blease has come up with a list that causes people to be more susceptible to depression which is, “1. They have more online ‘friends’; 2. The greater the time spent reading updates from this wide pool of friends; 3. The more frequently the user reads these updates; and 4. The content of the updates tends to a bragging nature; … 5. Attractive female images will command the greatest attention,” (Blease 9-10). This is something that can be taught to students to help them know what to avoid when using their social media accounts to avoid “Facebook depression.”

This is an issue that needs to be addressed throughout the school systems. A way to implement this into the classroom is to have all students take a home economics class that will include a section that will teach students how to use social media and the dangers of using social media accounts. Our teachers will have to go to a training session to learn how to use social media accounts and how to identify the dangers of using social media accounts. If possible, the schools should have someone who specializes in these areas so that they can come into classrooms and give presentations at the beginning of every year to classes on the dangers of social media accounts. If the school does not have a home economics class, they can include this education on social media accounts into their bullying programs. Bullying is something that can cause depression just like how “Facebook depression” is caused. You could blend the programs together so that there are not complaints about there not being enough time in the school day to teach these issues.

Another way to help with this issue is to teach the parents how to make sure that their children are aware of the dangers that come with social media accounts. There is a website that is called that explains the good things and the bad things that come from social media accounts that are meant for parents, that the school could suggest to the parents to use with their own children. To implement this with the parents you can have the teachers show their parents on back to school nights where the teacher can inform the parents of the information on the website, so that the parents are able to teach their children the information.

Some people may oppose these arguments and believe that these dangers are made up and do not believe that they should be implemented into school systems. They think that schools do not have the time to waste on something like social media accounts dangers. They might say that in their research done, they have seen that there is, “no direct association between Facebook use and depression,” (Tandoc 144). The article also states that if someone is a frequent Facebook user, then they are not likely to become depressed from the time they spend on the website.

This may be true that there is no real correlation that if someone uses Facebook frequently that they will not become depressed from it. But within that same article, it states that, “heavy Facebook users have higher levels of Facebook envy than light users,” (Tandoc 144). The people who would oppose the idea that social media dangers should be taught in the classroom need to see that students do not see the dangers of looking at their social media accounts multiple times per day can cause.

Another argument that could come up with this topic is the fact that people may view depression as something that is caused by bullying. They will say that in order to actually have depression, it needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. What they fail to see is that most cases of depression go undiagnosed. The dangers of social media accounts should be taught in school systems because, “30% of college students report that in the last 12 months they have felt so depressed that it was difficult to function, only 10% of college students report having sought care and been diagnosed with depression,” (Moreno 448). This goes to show you that if students are aware of these facts when they are using their social media accounts then this number of students who are depressed in college should decrease.

Parents could argue that these programs in my proposal are unrealistic and that we do not have the funding to implement these programs. To fund these programs, we could do some more fundraising to help with the cost, just like the bullying programs use. If we include it into the bullying program, we can raise a little bit more funding to be able to teach the dangers of social media usage within the program. Also, if you make that website known by having a meeting with the parents to teach them about the website, it can help with the need for funds to help get the word out about the dangers of using social media accounts.

“Facebook depression” is something that everyone needs to be aware of with the advances that have come with social media accounts. It is something that children in elementary school need to become aware of due to the fact that children are getting their own social media accounts at younger and younger ages. There are going to be many people who believe that these issues are not real, but if they become informed with the research that has been done with this issue, they will become more approachable with the proposal that I have come up with. The big issue that comes with the dangers of using social media accounts is that people do not know what these dangers are, so to help the issue they need to become aware of the issue and look at the researches done on it.





















Works Cited

Appel, Helmut, et al. “Social Comparison, Envy, and Depression on Facebook: A Study   Looking at the Effects of High Comparison Standards on Depressed           Individuals.” Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, vol. 34, no. 4, Apr. 2015,           pp. 277-289. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1521/jscp.2015.34.4.277.

Blease C.R. “Too Many ‘Friends,’ Too Few ‘Likes’? Evolutionary Psychology and ‘Facebook Depression’.” Review of General Psychology, vol. 19, no. 1, 2015, pp.      1–13., doi:10.1037/gpr0000030.

Moreno, Megan A., et al. “Feeling Bad on Facebook: Depression Disclosures by College Students on a Social Networking Site.” Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), vol.             28, no. 6, June 2011, pp. 447-455. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/da.20805.

O’keeffe, G. S., and K. Clarke-Pearson. “The Impact of Social Media on Children,            Adolescents, and Families.” Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-04. Web.

Steers, Mai-Ly N., et al. “Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage Is Linked to Depressive Symptoms.” Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, vol.        33, no. 8, Oct. 2014, pp. 701-731. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1521/jscp.2014.33.8.701.

Tandoc, Edson C, et al. “Facebook Use, Envy, and Depression among College Students: Is Facebooking Depressing?” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 43, 2015, pp.     139–146., doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.10.053.

Tanner, L. I. N. D. S. E. Y. “Docs warn about Facebook use and teen depression.” News   talk radio WHIO< http://www. aap. org>(28.03. 11) (2011).

“Teaching Kids to Be Smart About Social Media.” KidsHealth. Ed. Larissa Hirsch. The    Nemours Foundation, Aug. 2014. Web. 17 June 2017.


The Opinion PagesLinks to an external site.  |        Op-ed contributor


Does Social Media Addiction Effect Your Every Day Life?



By Zachary Baker                JUNE 13, 2017



When I was younger and went to dinner with my family, I would look around and see lots of families having conversations with each other. Now if you go to a restaurant, you will see families sitting at the table not talking, but playing on their phones. Do you see a problem with this situation? The problem that I see with this problem is that families are not interacting with each other the way that some children need them too. People keep getting drawn into using social media accounts, but do they see the risk that comes with using these social media accounts? This can lead to many problems with teenagers and adults’ social lives. So, my question to you is, are the risk of using social media accounts worth the risk of becoming addicted to using them?


First, we need to look at the reasons why people use social networking sites. A survey was done in 2006, that asked teenagers why they used social networking sites. The survey showed that half of the teenagers visited their social media accounts daily to keep their profile up to date with the rest of the people on the social networking sites. This number has possibly increased since this study was done. This addiction to trying to keep up can cause teenagers to stress about keeping up with the times instead of just having fun in life. The addiction to looking at social media accounts can lead to depression, which can come from bullying or not being as popular as others.


There are many risk that come from using social media accounts. One risk is the called “Facebook Depression,” which is caused by the drive for acceptance and contact with peers. According to ¬¬¬ Clinical Report—The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families, “preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors,” (O’keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 800-804). Social media addiction can cause problems online, but can cause problems offline as well. If a teenager feels as though they are not socially accepted, they will turn to other activities that can lead to trouble. If you look around you can see that more adults are looking for the same acceptance and contact with peers as the teenagers. People do not pay as much attention to the adults in these situations. They believe that since they are adults, this cannot happen to them.


People may view social media addiction as something that cannot hurt you, but one risk that they do not see is the loss of possible jobs. Employers are worried that social networking addiction could cause employees to get distracted from doing their job. According to Social Networking Addiction: An Overview of Preliminary Findings, “in a survey of 120 youth work managers and practitioners, Davies and Cranston (2008) reported that their participants feared that use of online social networking displaces other activities and face-to-face social interaction,” (Griths, Kuss and Demetrovics 120). As you can see, social media addiction can affect much more than you want to believe. Social interactions come into play with your everyday life; not being able to talk to someone face-to-face can hurt you in the working world. You may have a great personality on your social media accounts but if you are unable to communicate in person, employers will be afraid to hire you and will hire someone that has a better personality in person over you.


Social media addiction is a dangerous thing that can happen to anyone. Social media accounts are being created by children at younger ages all the time. Children are growing up with social media accounts, and are losing their social skills that they could learn from playing with their friends or just by listening to others speak. But social media is causing children to go outside and play less and less. If you ask a child what their favorite thing to do is, you will hear the answer about playing on the phone more times than not. There needs to be a program implemented into school systems that teach children the dangers of using social networking sites. This will help prevent these dangers of becoming addicted to using social media accounts from happening to teenagers and adults.



Zachary Baker is a senior in college, where he is studying to become a teacher at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

















Griths, Mark D., Daria J. Kuss, and Zsolt Demetrovics. “Social networking addiction: An             overview of preliminary findings.” Behavioral addictions: Criteria, evidence and           treatment         (2014): 119-141.

Lee, Yuan-Hsuan1, et al. “Re-Visiting Internet Addiction among Taiwanese Students: A Cross-   Sectional Comparison of Students’ Expectations, Online Gaming, and Online Social Interaction.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, vol. 43, no. 3, Apr. 2015, pp. 589-           599.     EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10802-014-9915-4.

O’keeffe, G. S., and K. Clarke-Pearson. “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents,   and             Families.” Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-04. Web.


Online Identity Reflection

Zachary Baker


Online Identification Reflection

Today we will be reviewing the social media account of Zachary Baker so future employers are able to assess this applicant. Looking through his Facebook account, Instagram account, and Twitter, we will be examining his posts to see how he seeks to portray himself to his peers. We will be comparing some of the posts to his academic identity to show some similarities and differences. You will also be aware of some qualities that will help Zachary excel or struggle with in the jobs that he is applying for.  You will be able to identify how he wants to represent himself on a personal, professional, and political level after reading this essay.

Today we will be reviewing the social media account of Zachary Baker so future employers are able to assess this applicant. Looking through his Facebook account, Instagram account, and Twitter, we will be examining his posts to see how he seeks to portray himself to his peers. We will be comparing some of the posts to his academic identity to show some similarities and differences. You will also be aware of some qualities that will help Zachary excel or struggle with in the jobs that he is applying for.  You will be able to identify how he wants to represent himself on a personal, professional, and political level after reading this essay.

Zachary does not appear to be afraid of his personal life on his social media. You can tell from the many posts about his family that they are very important to him. There are many posts about his girlfriend explaining how important she is to him. He recently changed his relationship status to engaged and you can tell that he is very well liked by his peers by the number or responses he received. You can see that his Twitter account has not been used for a couple years and when it was used, most of his tweets were either sent to his girlfriend or to people. There were not many random tweets that were not sent to people.

Zachary is viewed by his peers as a very open person in an academic setting, which would be very similar to his social media accounts. His peers explain that he is very family oriented and is willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs some extra help. You can see from his online persona that he is willing to help anyone in his classes or at his work from the friends he is with on his social media accounts.

Going through Zachary’s Instagram and Facebook accounts you can see that he is trying to stay as professional as possible. After looking through many of his peers’ accounts, you see that they are posting photos with alcohol in their hands or in the background. On the other hand, if you look at Zachary’s account, you will not find a single post that has alcohol in the photo. Looking at his Instagram account, you can see that he does the same with not posting any alcohol in his photos, but you can see more of a comedy side to him that is not as professional. There are many cases where the group of people in the photo are laughing, or Zachary is making a funny face in the picture to cause laughter from others. He does not do anything inappropriate, but there are some posts that are not very professional. On his Twitter account, there are no posts since 2014. You can see that he believed Twitter was not a very professional way to represent himself, so he removed himself from using it.

His peers have spoken about Zachary’s professionalism in the academic setting. He has a comedic side but he does not let it overpower his ability to act professionally in the classroom. This will be very beneficial for when he gets a job to make sure that the job is getting done, but also knowing that he can make the best out of any situation.

Political issues have been a big issue that gets much attention on social media. Zachary is someone who has stayed out of the political discussions throughout his social media accounts. He has shared some political memes, but not enough that would alarm a future employer about him starting political problems within the workplace. He has not written any long posts that caused arguments about people’s political views. There are many about political issues throughout all social medias and it does not appear that he tries to be involved with them and get into arguments with others about them. He is able to work with anyone in the classroom due to the fact that he does not verbally let his political views be shown when a political discussion comes up.

Zachary is someone that has a good combination of personal, professional, and political online identity. It seems that many people like him and that he has always been on the lookout for future employers that will be looking through his social media accounts. I believe that his similarities to his professionalism will be a very positive thing for him since he is able to have some fun but not to cross the line. His similarities in the personal life may be a negative because it means that he may bring problems at home to work with him. So, that is something that he may need to work on for the future. His ability to stay out of the political issues will help him to thrive in any situation when it comes to politics. He will not cause problems in the work setting when it comes to political issues. Zachary will make a great fit to any type of work setting with these qualities that he possesses.

About Me

Welcome to my blog about how cultivating a life online can have good and bad consequences. My name is Zachary Baker and I am a senior at Longwood University. I am working towards my Liberal Studies degree with the hopes to be an elementary school teacher in the Rockingham County area. During the summer, I work at the Boys & Girls Club in Elkton VA. This gives me a great opportunity to work on my classroom presence, and to get a chance to work with students in a little bit of a classroom setting. When I began college at the community college in Maryland, I was focused mainly on playing sports and not my schooling. But, when I realized that I did not want to play sports in college anymore I had to really focus to raise my grades so that I could transfer to a university like Longwood University. Ever since I got into studying to be a teacher I have noticed that my interest in school had a new spark. I enjoyed reading the textbooks and going to class, which I struggled with when I was attending classes at the community college. Learning about how to teach a child and all of the techniques to achieve different skills has been something that I really enjoy studying. It amazes me how much I thought I knew but later learned that I did not know it completely. Technology has become an important tool in the classroom setting. Something that I saw in my practicum last semester was that my CT had to use Twitter to communicate with the parents and to show them what they were working on throughout the day.


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