Friday, May 11, 2018

Society's Influence on Self-Esteem

article by Gabriella Aubut
edited by Elizabeth Marston

screenshots taken from author's laptop

As you roll over in you bed, your eyes catch the sight of a new notification lighting up the room. You know that you have to get up early the next morning and get ready for school, but you can’t fight the urge that’s telling to pick up your phone. As you read your latest Instagram notification, it informs you about a very popular, new style of eye shadow. You click the home button, punch in your four digit code, and Instagram opens itself up. You view this new post, but can’t help thinking, “I wish I could look like that.” These thoughts run through the minds of most social media users who have seen a model or celebrity looking their best.

Social media has that sort of affect on its users. It helps spread around what society thinks is perfection. We constantly see celebrity photo shoot images, but they aren’t natural. Before those images are released, they undergo a process called photoshop, where they are edited and altered to make sure that they fit society’s mold of perfect. Large hips, flat stomach, and a thigh gap. Society also expects men to look their best. Skinny, but muscular, perfectly tan, and relatively tall.

Over the years, we have been expected to fulfill impossible standards. “Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills,” ( Most people know that the stuff on social media is glamorized and made to look flawless in the people’s eyes. Social media has negative effects on self-esteem and relationships. “80% reported that is easier to be deceived by others through their sharing on social media,” ( Social media helps to hide the “imperfections” that occur in life behind a screen. It helps to create a masked persona of perfection for all of its users.

Society only wants perfection. The next time you post a photo or a comment on your social media, I want you to think about what you’re doing. Is it one side to your life? Are you only posting the good side of your life? What about the bad? Don’t use social media as a way of hiding behind a screen, use it as a way of empowering you and others. Encouraging them to be the best that they can be, not what society wants them to be. Don’t enforce society’s rule of beauty, enforce your own.


Silva, Clarissa. “Social Media's Impact On Self-Esteem.”, Oath, Inc., 22 Feb. 2017, esteem_us_58ade038e4b0d818c4f0a4e4.

This website is pretty much about the “paradox effect” that social media gives off and how it affects people's relationships, and in a way creates a barrier of communication. It talks about how real life has been put into the form of social media and people forget how to interact in real life. We used the statistics to get a better understanding of how it really affects people.

Coronado, Orfelinda. “Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem in Teens Linked toSocial Media.”, Access Health, 1 Sept. 2016,

This website informs us about how online communities may have a direct impact on its user’s mental health. It tells us how teens are exposed to easy forms of attack. We used this website to inform us about how social media uses anonymity to attack self-esteem. It informs us that, even though social media can be a really a really good form of connection, it is also is a very easy way to target self-esteem in anyone while hiding behind a screen.

Jacobson, Rae, and Child Mind Institute. “Social Media and Self-Esteem| Impact of Social Media on   Youth.”, Child Mind Institute, Inc., 2018,

This website pretty much sums up how social media affects teens self esteem and makes them feel bad about themselves because they feel as though their peers are doing much better and more successful in life than them. We used this mainly to get an idea of how much damage this actually does on at teenage brain.

Ehmke, Rachel, and Child Mind Institute. “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers.”, Child Mind Institute, Inc., 2018,

This website targets technology and the way, not only teens, but kids use it and how their development is affected by it. It informs us about how social media is promoting anxiety and lowering self-esteem. We used this website to show how social media impacts the well-being of all of its users and everyone around it.

Kanouzi, Jack. “Self Esteem in the Hands of Society.”, Yale University.

This website tells us about how self-esteem can cause problems when it comes to building a strong, healthy relationships. It informs us about how these self-esteem issues can be the cause of serious diseases, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. We used this as a source to show how society’s hands are the controller of self-esteem.

Ability Grouping in School

article by Lauren Weko and Zoe Seward
edited by Elizabeth Marston

So? What is ability grouping? Ability grouping should involve the student's needs, and what is needed for the student to pass. This way of teaching keeps students who learn in the same way or at the same pace together, so they don't feel left out or different from others in their class. This way of learning is directed toward elementary level students. When in a classroom that is not grouped by ability, students can go home to their parents and complain about feeling stupid or different, or be on the other side and say the work is really easy and it is really slow.

School comes easier to some people and those are the people who are able to not work as hard and still pass and get good grades, students like that would be grouped together with a teacher who moves faster due to her/his students understanding. But school is also harder to others in these cases these students would have more time to get things done and more help with work. The teacher would take more time making sure that the students understand every step of the way.

But this way of learning also has some disadvantages, when grouping like this, the students in the lower level may get anxious, of feel less smart due to being put in a certain group. But if student are in the higher level it may make the student feel really pressured to do everything perfect, which may make them feel overwhelmed.

But this way of learning does excel from other learning types because the higher level students are not forced to be slower than average, and the lower level students have more help in understanding and not getting irritated at their work.

Depression in Teens

article by Lili Cammett and Destiny Doucette
edited by Elizabeth Marston 

Have you ever had a friend or family member that you think could be depressed or thinking about suicide? If you think so, read below.

Depression in teens is a very serious issue and should not be fooled around with. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, approximately one out of five adolescents has a diagnosable mental health disorder, and nearly one-third show symptoms of depression. Depression is identified as a “serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities,” according to A teen will not just stick out to you or to anyone also it isn’t easy to notice if a teen is depressed. The hardest part about noticing depression in adolescent teens is that many of the symptoms are recognized as normal teen behavior. This mental disorder affects how a teen will think, act, and feel on a daily basis. Even though it is normal for teenagers for occasionally be down in the dumps or upset, depression is a completely different story.

To be clear, there is no one cause for why people develop depression. There can be may factors to why it happens though. A variety of issues may be involved in the process of adolescent depression. Some of the causes that your teen may be depressed is that is he or she: biological chemistry, hormones, inherited traits, early childhood trauma and learning patterns of negative thinking. Also some symptoms that your child could be depressed are: irritability, poor performance in school, feelings of sadness that can lead to crying spells for no reason, social withdrawal or anger. As you can tell, these symptoms can be an emotional or behavioral change. However, just because someone displays these symptoms does not mean they are depressed. You should only be concerned if these occur over several weeks. According to, depression in teens is increasing at an alarming rate. Not only is it hard for adults to recognize depression in teenagers, it may also be hard for a teen themselves to recognize their own symptoms because they don’t tend to express or understand their feelings very well.

A very important aspect to be familiar with and understand before or after a teen is diagnosed with depression are the suicide warning signs. First of all, if you or anyone you know, teenager or not, are thinking about hurting yourself or attempting suicide call 911 or your local emergency number right away. There is also a national suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255) if you need someone to talk to during hard times. The possibility of wanting to commit suicide is a serious issue no matter how severe a person’s depression is. Also, if you think your teen or anyone is thinking about suicide these are the signs yo watch out for: Talking about suicide, writing about suicide, giving away a lot of personal stuff, starting to do reckless stuff, romanticizing death, saying goodbye to family or friends(in person or online) and posting stuff on social media about wanted to commit suicide or death. There are many ways to help treat teen depression. “If depression symptoms continue or begin to interfere in your teens life, talk to a doctor or mental health professional trained to work with adolescents. Your teens family doctor or pediatrician is a good place to start. Or your teens school may recommend someone.” ( It’s likely that depression symptoms won’t just get better on their own. That is why seeking help is so important.

What are some treatments for depression?

Psychotherapy, this is a talk therapy which is a good initial treatment choice, it helps determine what kind of things you need to focus on to get better.

Group Therapy, for some teens group therapy works out better because they connect with others and learn they aren’t alone.

Medication, antidepressant drugs are typically just for major cases of depression, in order to be prescribed these drugs you need to be examined by a doctor to make sure they are necessary and beneficial for you.

Concluding that suicide and depression is nothing to mess around with, if you think a friend or not even a friend even someone you just know is thinking about suicide or is very depressed don’t just watch them fall down the hole get them help.

Are Dogs Genetically or Environmentally Aggressive?

article by Izabella Caruolo
edited by Emma Snyder

There have been multiple arguments between scientists about if dog aggression is genetic or environmental. Some believe it's genetic, some believe it's environmental and some even think it's both. As a human we can control when we want to be aggressive (most of the time). We believe we know that dogs can control their aggression too. If they smell something that they associate with danger then they may start to bark at you in a aggressive tone. Sometimes a dog will bark at you or someone who tries to get close to them, this is because they may feel threatened by you. Hence the reason why they may snap, growl, bark, or attack you. This is just basic behavior we all know and is something many dogs do, but do certain dog breeds show this more than others?

If you asked me if the aggression was from genes or the environment I would say both. According to WholeDogJournal Jessica Hekman wrote an article, “Is Our Dog's Behaviour Genetic?” she wrote, “Just as we don’t have complete control over the genetic contributions to a dog’s personality, we lack complete control over the puppy’s environment. By the time the breeder and then the owner are formally socializing a puppy, the little canine brain has already gone through massive amounts of development.” As a person we can’t completely control a dog's genes and a dog’s environment. Breeding two dogs that aren’t aggressive doesn’t mean their offspring won’t be aggressive, sometimes it's just where the puppy was brought up. If they had a family who was aggressive towards the dog and abused it, then it’s most likely that they will be aggressive towards others, because they are scared. Being aggressive towards others is the only thing they know to survive.

It is also possible that the dog will end up having genes that are like their parent’s personalities. Also according to Whole Dog Journal's, “Is Our Dogs Behaviour Genetic?” Jessica had wrote, “It turns out that personality is influenced by many, many genes, and if you breed for any other traits in addition to temperament, like looks or performance, then your ability to guarantee particular results in the puppy goes out the window.” A dog has both of their parent’s genes and they may get some of their personality from those genes. There is a 50/50 chance that the offspring will have the mother’s or father’s personality with their own personality. Their aggression can be one of their parent’s traits and/or their own just from their environment.

German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Behaviour Comparison

A German Shepherd is known to be one of the most aggressive dog breeds, because of their history and most common job as a police dog. You can always find a German Shepherd next to a police officer in airports or highly populated train stations or in populated cities. They are mostly used for drug busts, are trained to smell illegal drugs such as medical marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, and used for search and rescue. A German Shepherd is a pet that is very protective, loyal, alert and very intelligent. Unfortunately, they are stereotyped as the most aggressive dog next to pitbulls, which makes it hard for people to have them as pets or to see them as pets. It takes patience and dedication to train a German Shepherd. German Shepherds will have tempers and they will be aggressive if they feel threatened, which is why most people who do own this beautiful dog have spent time training them to be obedient and kind.

On the other hand, a Golden Retriever isn’t known to be aggressive. They are very popular family dogs. Goldens are obedient, playful, intelligent, well-mannered, are kind especially to strangers, and very good with kids. These beloved dogs are great for being watchdogs, but don’t make great guard dogs due to their social butterfly-like personality. These dogs love to be around people and die for attention. If they are left alone for too long they will develop separation anxiety, which may lead to bad behavior like chewing objects that aren’t made to be chewed on, like your favorite pair of shoes. Goldens thrive on companionship. Unlike German Shepherds they don’t get stereotyped as the most aggressive dog breed and are viewed as one of the sweetest and happiest dog today.

School Lunches

article by Noelle DesVergnes
edited by Emma Snyder

School lunches are a big factor in children’s and young adult’s lives. Because of this I believe school lunches need a change in order to keep the obesity rates low and to keep students healthy.

Students get most of their calorie intake at school, since school takes up about three quarters of the year. Since students get most of their calories at school, and from school lunches, the lunches should be as healthy as possible.

Now, I understand the problem of the not having enough money, but this should be our number one priority. Also, students don't have enough time to eat. At Massabesic we have about 20 minutes to eat which is not nearly enough time for kids to fully consume their lunches. With not enough time to eat ALL the foods on their plate, they go for the “good” stuff first. In other words, this means the sweet chocolatey stuff and desserts, they could care less about a plate full of greens compared to a plate full of sweets when they only have 15-20 minutes to eat.

Just from a couple of these statements, most people have probably realized how much of an impact this has on students, especially with developing brains. To stop obesity rates from climbing, we need to change this. What you can do to help yourself is, to start packing your own healthy lunches with plenty of fruit, vegetables and protein. If you do order lunch, go for the vegetables instead of the sweets first. If you have a choice of soda or water, go with water.

In conclusion, these are only some of the things you can do to increase your health, and to decrease your risk of future health problems later on in life.

These two pictures are a comparison of Italy’s and U.S.’s lunches. You can clearly see how much healthier Italy’s lunch is, and how different the two are. Citation- Revealing Photo Series Documents School Lunches Around the World.

This picture shows another example of the U.S.’s lunch compared to a much healthier one, Brazil. You can clearly spot the differences in the color and freshness of the food. Citation- How Do School Lunches Around The World Look?


How Marine Pollution Affects the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

article by Anna Snyder
edited by Emma Snyder

All around the world, plastic pollutes ocean waters each year. Approximately 1.15 to 2.14 million tons of plastic are released into the ocean from rivers every year. When plastic is released into the ocean, it is trapped by the circular motion of currents. These currents then draw debris into the center where it will stay there. This has later resulted in the creation of an island of trash. This patch of trash, located in the Pacific Ocean is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The trash patch today has an estimated surface area of 1.6 million kilometers. To put this into perspective, the trash is twice the size of Texas and three times the size of France. It was predicted by scientists but was officially discovered by a racing ship captain, named Charles Moore. He discovered the patch on his way back from Hawaii to California after a yachting competition. Him and his crew noticed it when millions of pieces of trash started to surround their ship. All of the trash was in so many different shapes and sizes because of the plastics inability to decompose. So, on a simple note the plastic can never break down, the pieces just degrade into tiny and tinier pieces until not seen by the effect of the sun’s waves and marine life.

All of this trash and plastic is a major problem for the environment and for life in general. It mostly affects animals like seals, seal lions, birds, plankton, dolphins, turtles, and many other marine life that live in the ocean. A couple major reasons of how the trash affects the animals is many of them think the trash is food, because of the plastic’s shape, size, and color. For example, turtles mistakenly think plastic bags are jellyfish, which they can accidentally eat. Because plastic is not edible, it is unable for animals to live off of it. This leads to the deaths of many animals, because of malnutrition. Another reason why plastic is so harmful to animals is because they can get entangled in the plastic and trash which sadly can result in slow deaths. These slow deaths are caused by major wounds, infection, and starvation. Approximately 640,000 fishing gear is polluted in the water every year which results in at least 136,000 seals, sea lions, and other mammals to be killed every year. The deaths caused by fishing nets, is known as ghost fishing. Ghost fishing, along with malnutrition from plastics, are only some of the major dangers that this plastic patch has on the world and our animals. If this continues, plastic could possibly create a major negative change in the food chain, and could possibly result in major problems in the future.

Knowing this, we need to try to prevent more plastic from entering the patch. Even though there isn’t a immediate or permanent change of getting rid of the patch, we can do little things like recycling and reusing water bottles, instead of buying plastic bottles. All of this can help contribute to an end to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and can make Earth a safer and happier place to live in.

This picture shows a sea turtle that is wrapped up and trapped in a plastic fishing net, which can later drown the turtle in the process called “ghost fishing.” Citation- “Great Pacific Garbage Patch Weighs More than 43,000 Cars and Is Much Larger than We Thought.” Google Search, Google,

Lower view of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Here you can see numerous pieces of trash that are recognizable, unrecognizable, tiny, and big. Citation- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Three Times the Size of France and Growing, Study Finds.

How Does Society Define Beauty

article by Annabelle Cote and Brianna Mooers
edited by Jack St. Laurent

Beauty- a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. By this definition, in order to be considered beautiful, you have to have a certain shape, color, or form, and you have to appeal to people. If someone doesn’t have a certain body type then you are an outsider and people will treat you different.

Many girls nowadays wear makeup, no matter if they are insecure or comfortable in their own skin. They do it for fun, they do it to feel more powerful, they do it to be beautiful, they do it to feel like they are enough. Just because a girl wears makeup, it does not mean she wants to look different or “better”. However, there are plenty of girls out there that would pay hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for better makeup that covers all of their imperfections, or even for cosmetic surgery to look like models in magazines.

Today’s society wants you to wear tons of makeup to look more “beautiful”, to cover up your insecurities. However, they then contradict themselves by saying women don’t need makeup to be considered “beautiful.” Society has such a strong hold on the way that females perceive they should act, look, feel, think, and present themselves. As we look at the pictures of the “perfect girls” on the cover of magazines, we want to look just like them. We want to find similar characteristics in ourselves and when we don’t find them we feel worse about who we are as people. But what everyone tends to forget, is that the people on the covers of these magazines that everyone wants to look like, are normal people. You could see them on the streets tomorrow and not even know it’s them. These models put on the articles of clothing and pose, photoshop does the rest.

You can become rich if your body is how society wants it. You can become a model, or you can become famous and get paid for looking the way society has told women they have to look. It isn’t easy, and most celebrities and models have surgery done and use photoshop. However, none of this is right. Women should not have to change themselves to gain some money. To get money, you should focus on your education and smarts. You should not have to look attractive to an employer so you can get a job.

High end makeup brands tend to boost up the cost of their products because they want to appeal more to the people who can actually afford it and make it a trend (the wealthy), rather than average people who cannot afford a $250 foundation every time they run out of their foundation.

Concussions and the Teen Brain

article by Ryan Castonguay, Brady Cormier, and Jack St. Laurent
edited by Jack St. Laurent

What is a concussion? A concussion is a brain injury provoked by a blow to the head that causes the brain to rapidly move back and forth. This is becoming a more common injury in youth and high school sports. This affects their school, and social lives in many ways.

One in five student athletes will experience a concussion during their season. During their concussion, they will have many limitations. For example, they can't be exposed to too much light and they can’t have much screen time. The concussion also can affect the brain cognitively, emotionally, and physically. It can cause slowness in thinking and forgetfulness. It can cause people to be more worried and for them not to be themselves. Lastly, it can cause dizziness and nausea. Concussions are very serious and can’t be taken lightly.

There are lifetime consequences that come with all concussions as people that have previously had concussions, especially teens are known to have some work deficiencies. Parents and guardians have seen the effects that these concussions have on their student athletes, and they aren’t too happy about them. Athletes are truly being effected on and off the field when it comes to concussions. Things like school are now deeply affected and these athletes struggle to do their best work.

In conclusion, concussions aren’t something you want to play around with. Not giving your child or yourself the proper amount of limitations after a concussion may affect you or them in the long run. It is deeply brought to mind that concussions do need the proper treatment. If your not handled with care after a concussion, don’t be surprised if you see many deficiencies in school, sports, or even your social life. So “heads up” and be careful with your head because it truly plays a huge role in your life.

The Effect of Technology on Children

Article by Erin Partridge and Kaylei Chabre
Edited by Jack St. Laurent

Technology is a huge uprising in society today. There's a huge controversy, is it a good thing or a bad thing? Are kids using too much technology? Are parents not doing enough to lessen screen time every day? Today we will find out how much technology really affects society.

Technology can influence mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and can even show symptoms of autism. Parents usually dismiss these symptoms and don’t look deeper into these problems, and never see their kids technology as a harmful factor, which can eventually lead to serious disorders. On average, elementary school kids use about 7.5 hours of technology each day, with tv’s, ipads, cell phones, etc.

Technology also affect children’s performance in school. Technology can keep teens up late at night, causing exhaustion the next day. This can make kids fall asleep during school, day dream during lessons, and forget about daily tasks necessary. Lack of sleep can influence intense mood swings. The information one takes in can easily be forgotten. This influences how people execute their everyday tasks.

Although technology creates personal satisfaction, and helps in the classroom for research, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has a positive impact on you brain. Too much screen time can prevent your child from wanting to do anything that has to do with physical activity. Kids and teens tend to get addicted to these hunks of glass and metal easily. Studies show that phones are the equivalent to a slot machine, just in your pocket.

At home, some parents tend to just hand off their phone to their kids because they are being to ‘hyper’. But they are kids, they are supposed to be running around burning energy and being active. Parents phones are usually packed with video games to distract their kids, games like Surgeon Simulator, where you get to perform surgery on people with crazy instruments. It is made to look kid friendly but the overall objective is gruesome. These games cause kids to become aggressive and violent. Bonds become rough and socializing will decrease.

Overall apps technology is corrupting society, especially apps. Less apps should be used due to the amount of violence and laziness occuring, like on the go order apps. Technology seems to be taking over our lives and there needs to be a limit of use, but in order for that to happen we must do something.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Effects of Technology on Kids

article by Izzy Hurlburt and Makenna Roy
edited by Emma Snyder

These days parents are noticing a rapid change in their family structure and lifestyle. It can go from kids using electronic devices at the dinner table and then later going into kids being disobedient when parents try to limit the usage of electronic devices. By electronics, gone is dining room table conversation, which is replaced by the “big screen.” Technology plays a big role on how these kids grow and develop.

By using technology these kids can grow up with social issues, becoming less likely to communicate with others since most of their time is being spent on technology. This can really affect the way they grow up because kids need friends and people to keep them entertained and involved. Some may say that these impacts are what technology does for them, but it can really have an affect on the development of their brains. It can affect the ability of problem solving, reasoning, creativity, memory, language, and learning.

According to, “Four critical factors necessary to achieve healthy child development are movement, touch, human connection, and exposure to nature. These types of sensory inputs ensure normal development of posture, bilateral coordination, optimal arousal states and self-regulation necessary for achieving foundation skills for eventual school entry.” But by kids using technology so often, they aren't getting these factors. On the nature side of this, spending time outdoors has a huge number of positive effects on the body .  It provides you with exposure to sunlight, which supplies your body with Vitamin D. This helps to fight infections and keep your skin healthy. Additionally, regular exposure to sunlight helps to keep your sleep cycle regular by influencing the body’s production of melatonin. With that being said, if children don’t go outside as much they will lack melatonin which would affect their performance in school. Going outside can also benefit kids physically. By running around and getting exercise, these kids are less at risk for obesity, diabetes and other health problems. states that, “According to market researcher conducted by Childwise in 2015, kids aged five-16 average 6.5 hours screen time a day, with teenage boys spending the most time on screens – an average of 8 hours a day. Thus, a typical kid can expect to spend upwards of 90 days – or 3 months – a year staring at a screen. That’s a 116% increase in screen time consumption since 1995.” With these stats you can see that as technology is advancing so is the time spent using them.

To conclude, we need to take an action to limit the use of technology kids are using. In some ways they are good, like for learning in school. But outside of school kids should be spending time outside and using their imaginations, not being cooped up inside all day staring at a screen that also could impair their vision. If this continues the next generation would be left with kids who are disobedient when it comes time to put the electronic away, a society where people’s lives revolve around social media, and unhealthy kids because they didn’t have the chance to develop right.

This picture shows two young kids fully fixated on their electronics like they are being “sucked in.” Citation-Children and Technology: Should You Be Concerned?

This picture shows a young girl trying desperately to reach her tablet rather than read the actual books she is standing on. This demonstrates and puts into reality how much technology is influencing and impacting young kids, and changing how we use other resources. Citation- The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child.