Adam Mobley" />

Refreshing. Pausing. Scrolling. And more scrolling. 

This is leisure for Luis Rodriguez, 33, a student at LaGuardia community college. Rodriguez says he has a love-hate relationship with social media apps. 

But these apps are taking a toll on him. He is anxious about privacy. He is worried about screenshots. “This is completely disrespectful to your privacy; it breaks the trust,” he says.

Rodriguez is not alone. Students are struggling to balance pleasure and stress caused by obsessive use of social media.

Scarlet, 20, who did not want to use her full name, says, “It’s a private conversation for a reason,” and if not, she would’ve said it in a group chat. However, for Scarlet privacy isn’t her only concern. She says she is “nervous” about the adverse impact on her mental health. 

While social media can be a great way to connect with others and a much more comfortable way to consume news for Scarlet and other students. But there is more awareness and conversation around the negative impact of social media. 

 “I can’t be on social media that much, like it triggers my emotions,” says Scarlet. 

She says, she gets easily upset when she reads stories about gun violence, including mass school shootings. 

Alexandra, 19, who did not want to use her full name, is a nutrition major at LaGuardia. Alexandra says that she has dealt with body image issues because of these social media apps. “I feel like with women and girls, it’s pushed that you have to be so skinny and pretty all the time.”   

Social media also affects the way Alexandra carries herself in public. She says she is always wondering what people might be thinking about her when doing simple things like walking around. It’s not surprising that it can affect people in this way when people are being made fun of for being themselves online. 

She says she takes many breaks from the use of social media.

 “I felt kind of light during that time, like a weight had been lifted,” she says.