Ms. Katie Greer urges the reevaluation of social media use


Lindsay Taylor '24

Ms. Katie Greer speaks to students about the negative effects of social media.

Ms. Katie Greer visited Sacred Heart Greenwich to inform students from third to twelfth grade about the effect of social media on their mental health and how to protect themselves from online dangers February 8.  She discussed that social media can promote a false and unrealistic image of users’ lives, causing feelings of depression among its young audience.  Her visit comes as part of a larger effort from the Sacred Heart Administration to bring attention to discussions of mental health through speakers.  Mrs. Jennifer Bensen, Director of Student Leadership, Health, and Wellness, and junior Olivia Ritossa, a co-head of the Behind Every Smile Club, revealed the necessity of openly conversing about student well-being to promote healthy mindsets and behavior. 

Ms. Greer believes that the internet and social media are great tools for young adults as long as they use them properly.  She aims to equip her audiences with the right information to make student relationships with technology safer and more enriching, according to

Ms. Greer discusses the reality of social media.  Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

Ms. Greer wants to bring awareness to the invasion of privacy and the mental toll that social media can take on its users.  She became a keynote speaker because of her desire to help young people learn how to use social media safely.

“I thought that it’s really irresponsible if we sit back and deal with these issues reactively,” Ms. Greer said.  “It’s not that hard to make good choices and be safe when we are using this stuff.  If we could have these simple conversations, we would be dealing with things a lot less reactively.”

Recently, the Sacred Heart Administration has worked with more mental health professionals to establish the priority of mindfulness among Upper School students.  Notably, Dr. Alex Diaz visited the school January 25 to speak about mental performance in athletics and in school life.  Mrs. Bensen believes that it is important to invite speakers to help promote wellness for students of all ages.

“In my role as Director of Leadership, Health, and Wellness, one of the things I have been tasked with is to bring in programming for students from K – 12,” said Mrs. Bensen.  “Part of that means finding and bringing in expert speakers in a variety of fields that we feel are important for students so that they can grow in knowledge, skills, and habits so that they can continue to lead productive happy lives.”

Mrs. Bensen emphasized the usefulness of social media for connection and the spread of positivity.  However, she also echoed Ms. Greer’s thoughts on the dangers of the superficiality of different feeds.

“I think social media can be an incredibly powerful way to spread awareness when done in an authentic way, not a fabricated way,” Mrs. Bensen said.  “By that I mean when the content is created to send positive messaging or awareness to certain topics and things, not when it is edited and completely redesigned.”

Olivia noted that the perspective of outside experts can be beneficial to students who are evaluating their own well-being.  She remarked that these speakers provide an opportunity for the support of mental health struggles.

Senior Nadia Borja delivers a presentation about mental health.  Courtesy of Olivia Ritossa ’24

“I think it’s so important to hear about mental health from people outside of the community because they’re able to provide their professional work and apply it to our lives,” Olivia said.  “It allows us to take time from our everyday lives to focus on ourselves and learn more about bettering ourselves in the aspect of mental health.  I think talking more about mental health is the first step, recognizing that mental health is something that we have to look out for for ourselves and for our friends and even other people that we’re not that close to.”

Olivia also commented that, along with her co-heads of the Behind Every Smile Club, senior Nadia Borja and junior Ila David, she is starting initiatives to raise awareness about mental health in the Upper School.  These steps include bringing specialized speakers to talk to students and hosting organic, student-led discussions.

“Our club had a perfectionism discussion,”  Olivia said.  “During that, the other club heads and I came up with questions for the attendees about perfectionism and how they feel they’re affected by it and its influence through the media.  I feel like the big takeaway from that was social media should be a tool we use for connection rather than comparison.  Once it becomes about comparison, it can become detrimental to all of our relationships.”

Featured Image by Lindsay Taylor ’24