Opinion: Sleep vs Snapchat


This data from Statista shows engagement in social media has been steadily increasing since 1977 when it was invented. Graphic by: Olive Kranzler

Olive Kranzler

Teens are historically tired, but is social media affecting their sleep schedule?

Many VHS students feel tired. This isn’t a new phenomenon, teens have been lacking sleep since the dawn of their existence. So, then, why does it feel like we keep having less and less energy? The answer? Two words: social media. Apps such as TikTok and Snapchat are specifically designed to be addicting, especially to their target audience… teenagers.

So, how exactly do these applications affect drowsiness in adolescents? Well, after a long day at school and extracurriculars, high schoolers are exhausted. Marlen Olea Lazaro, an 11th grader  says, “Homework takes up a lot of time, and then I do hip-hop so I get home late. I dont have as much time, so sometimes I’ll be going to sleep like at eleven.” 

“I feel like during finals and like stuff like that I kinda get stressed out.” She admits. School is stressful for a lot of students in one way or another. Sometimes it is very tempting to escape from reality in the form of social media. A few minutes scrolling through instagram wont hurt…then before you know it, it’s already 7:00 p.m. and you still have to finish your homework.

Finishing up school work while there are distractions such as social media can be difficult. Even if you manage to complete everything, what’s to say students won’t be tempted to go online instead of sleeping? 

“I usually sacrifice my sleep to hang out with people online,” says Lia Gillam, a sophmore. “If I didn’t have online friends then I would probably get more sleep.” Night time is one of the only points in the day that everyone is available without family or school to get in the way of online chatting. This makes it an ideal period for socializing through the internet…as long as you’re ok with falling asleep in class the following day.   

So who is at fault here? School for stressing students out, or social media developers? Some kids blame school because it seems to be the direct cause of stress, and therefore lack of sleep, but really, who benefits more from this situation? Think about it, media companies get tons of money from ads and teen direct engagement with them. In 2020 alone, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of facebook made 25.9 million dollars (in “compensation”). Teenage addiction to social media is profitable for the companies. School, on the other hand, gets nothing out of stressing their students out, it’s just a process that all people attending school have to go through in order to learn. 

As much as students may love spending time on social media, it isn’t worth the sacrifice of sleep. It will leave students tired, unable to focus, and over all, stressed out. We all need to do ourselves a favor, and prioritize sleep over snapchat.