The Danger of Trends

An opinion essay presented by The Olympian


Waylon Evans, Staff Writer

I’ll start this by saying that I’ve never been a fan of social media. 

I’m a teen – I tried social media once, but I didn’t get the big deal. I quit out of boredom as someone in this age who isn’t as reliant on technology to run my life. I have noticed a lot of flaws and follies of some of the social media “trends”; one of the most common ones I have seen was something that raises an enormous amount of frustration.

The trend sees the creator faking mental disabilities, mainly autism, ADHD, and depression. The reason for this tends to vary most of the time – it’s mostly for attention and sympathy. I for one get infuriated when I see something like this for a variety of reasons. It is supporting and pushing a lot of unfair stereotypes that are often fake or twisted by media.

It’s also personally insulting: a lot of things my friends go through are affected by the trends and videos. Here they are living a more challenging life than a lot of other people go through – one of my friends who has depression absolutely hates her condition that she deals with and manages – and then she looks at some sort of social media and sees a person pretending to have depression. When the things they say are over-dramatized, and yet they seem to have a perfectly normal life and never mention or show any other sign of depression, it raises that level of frustration. 

Regardless of their experience with mental disabilities, videos like the ones they create influences a lot of other people to think this is okay and just another “trend”, often damaging a teen’s mental health and self-esteem. The presence of such videos online should be spoken out against whenever they’re encountered, and the support of education about mental health will begin to move us in the right direction.