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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Arguments with a Purpose

 Mrs. Kempen sent Ian and me a note to let us know how well Max did on his argument unit writing assessments.  He had the best work in the grade and is a standout in her mind.  His social media essay is the exam, and the video games essay is his long-term research paper.

Max Bryan

Thursday, March 4, 2021


People use it all the time. On phones, ipads, and laptops, social media is a big part of teens everyday lives. So all teens should be allowed to use social media, right? Incorrect. Social media can be harmful to teens. I think that teens should not be allowed to social media because teens spend too much time on it, because it can lead to mental health problems, and most of all because it can be distracting.

One reason we should not let teens use social media is because they spend too much time on it. For example, Heidi McBain, an online counselor, says “Social media can become an obsession and students can start to forget what’s most important in life” Her perspective on this issue is important because she is a counselor, and probably knows all about this kind of thing. In addition, according to the Cincinnati Herald, many teens lurk on social media, which means that they spend lots of time looking at other people’s posts, but hardly ever post anything themselves. That means that teenagers who could be doing a sport, an after school activity, or playing with their friends are instead spending all their time inside, staring at their phones.

Another reason that teenagers should not be allowed to use social media is because it is bed for their mental health. For example, a survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness. Imagine if every time you got on your phone, you would hear about people who were smarter, stronger, and more popular than you. You would feel pretty bad about yourself. This might cause problems in school because you would be unable to concentrate. Another way that social media can be bad for teenagers' mental health is because “young people may experience psychological distress if they are exposed to cyberbullying, cyberostracism, cyberstalking, or if they have a tendency to compare themselves unfavourably with others.” Says Tracii Ryan, a researcher at the University of Melbourne. This means that the victim of the online abuse might get in financial trouble, because it is possible that their family will have to pay for counseling and that would cost a lot of money. Instead, teens should just stay off social media. That will eliminate any possible cyberbullying. 

Finally, my most important reason that teens should stay off social media is because social media can be distracting. One of the ways that social media can be bad for teens' health is that it limits their sleep. Most devices emit blue light, which is a type of light that makes it particularly difficult for the brain to fall asleep. Another way that social media can limit sleep is because tees stay up on screens late into the night. Most teens get tired naturally around ten or eleven P.M., and if they are up on their phones until then, they might sneak their phones into bed with them. This could lead to them not being focused at school, and it might get them into a habit of lying to their parents. Another reason why social media can make teens distracted is because it could distract them in school. For example every time someone a teen  has followed posts something, their phone usually makes a “ding” sound. If they are in the middle of a very important exam, that noise could distract them. The final way that social media can be distracting is that it can make people forget about the world around them. For example, if a teenager is talking to someone important, like the head of the college or high school they are applying to, they need to look their best. If they keep checking their phone throughout the interview, then the person who is interviewing them might think that they come across as disrespectful or unprofessional. 

Some people might argue that social media is a good way to stay in touch with people who live far away from them, but the person they are trying to contact might not know who they are, because the person who is trying to contact them might have a different name than they have in real life. Also, they could always just Facetime™ each other, or become pen pals. 

In conclusion, I strongly believe that teenagers should not use social media. Social media is bad for teens because they spend too much time on it, because it is bad for their mental health, and because it can be distracting. Do you want to be depressed, sleepless, and failing in school? I should hope not! While more and more people use social media, I still believe that teenagers should not use social media. Let kids enjoy childhood while they still can and stay away from social media. Don’t let teens use social media.

Here is his video games essay:

Max Bryan

Wednesday February 10 12:59 PM


Have you ever wondered why so many people play video games? Well, that is because video games are super fun. It is important to play video games because they are educational, they are a good way to interact socially, and because they improve your mental health. Although many people think they are bad, they are actually the opposite. As a gamer, I personally enjoy video games very much because I like to shoot up enemy players and play with my friend. I think that everyone should indulge in video games.

My first reason that everyone should play video games is because they can be educational. They are educational because they can simulate real life without being as dangerous. For example, the United States Army uses a video game called “Tactical Iraqi” to train its troops. It simulates real life situations that might occur to a soldier in Iraq but it is nowhere near as lethal, because it is all just a video game. Also, some airlines and the Air Force use flight simulators to train their pilots. Kids can also learn from video games. For example, gaming helps kids learn how to run a business. In particular, games like Zoo Tycoon give you a certain amount of money to start with, and from there you can build your zoo and manage its finances. Some schools even use video games to teach students. Perhaps the most unique way video games help people learn is they teach kids English. Since you would spend time playing video games, you might pick up English words and phrases while you play and eventually you will learn more and more until you can speak English! Kids are “growing up using video games informally to teach themselves English,” says Jonathon Reinhardt at the University of Arizona. While playing, if a character says something in another language, then there is usually a subtitle for that in whatever language you speak. That way, you know what it means in your language and in English, assuming it is an American made game. 

My second reason that people should play video games is because they are a way to interact socially. For example, 17% of parents play video games with their children. This means that parents and children might bond with each other while playing. For example, when I was younger my dad got me a game called Star Wars Battlefront and we played every day. Also, 42% of gamers play video games with friends. This means that friends who live far away from each other can play together even though they live far away. For example, one way I stay connected with my friend Max is that we play video games. Also, 57% of teens have met new friends online. This means that video games are a good way to meet new people and socialize. 

My most important reason that everyone should play video games is because they are good for your mental health. For example, they are a way to relax. If a kid has had a hard day at school, when they get home from school they can unwind by playing video games. Another way that video games can help people relax is that they can help people cope with ptsd. The most common way that video games relieve stress is because they are  filled with dopamine, which is a substance in your body that makes you really happy, when you complete a level. According to, “Insufficient dopamine can lead to depression”. An example of video games releasing dopamine is when you complete a new level. 

Many people think that video games can lead to violence, but that is not always true. Most people that play video games with shooting and violence are not actually dangerous. A way we can prevent violent behavior is to have parents monitor what games their children play. That way kids will not become violent and will only play video games that are appropriate for their age group. 

Ultimately I think that everyone should play video games despite what other people think because they are educational, they help people socially, and they are good for your mental health.