According to Susie East 2016 report on CNN, Teenagers today are highly influenced by social media. Everything they do is inclined towards building popularity in social media. Each photo that is uploaded on the internet gets many likes, which increase their motivation and influence how they look at themselves. About 90% of the teenagers across the world are on at least one social media platform which means that every teenager today is either aware of the existence of these principles or holds an account on them (Herring & Kapidzic, 2015).
The increase in technology, globalization, and the trends in the world today has dictated that we all require technology to be part of the growing world. The concert is that parents and other concern institutions believe that social media has more disadvantages than the pros. Psychologists, on the other hand, have weighed this and given the contradicting opinion (Strasburger et al, 2013).
Chris Crosby argues that the significant negative effect of social media is the fact that teenagers are losing on face-to-face contact. Using a bulk of evidence, he offers support to his claim on how gadgets are trapping teenagers on the platforms. The idea of creating groups has been a major point of reference. He argues that thousands of teenagers can hold a single conversation across the globe and thus continued debated mean that the teenager has to be glued on the screen for at least ten hours a day just to follow on development. The issue is that there are those that bring in radicalizing issues that have been reflected by the increase of teenagers joining terror groups and shootings in schools (Kearney & Levine, 2015).
On the other hand, social media is educative, facilitates communication and sharing of ideas, strengthen relationships by removing geographical barriers and boost confidence for teenagers to confine in others, learn more and define themselves by choosing where they fit best.
Undoubtedly, the role of social media in broadening connections and improving technical skills cannot be overlooked. Teenagers exchange ideas across the world, which allows other to learn and in many ways protect themselves. Because of increase in hawking, teens inform each other on how to secure themselves from own experience, which has helped to reduce their vulnerability.
32% of teenagers on social media have experienced a form of menacing advances from creeps roaming the internet. Actions like cyber bullying have been on the rise leading to governments creating cyber crime divisions as a way to scare or reduce the issue. A survey by the American Psychology Association showed that 13% of teenagers admit to receiving aggressive messages from strangers on the social Medias. The effects of such massagers can be life threatening. Because of increase in coding and computing skills, the teenagers are in many cases hacked and their private information used against them or their friends. More often than not, they are watched in secret and their individual images released online. The kind of defamation has lead to researchers question the suitability of social media to teenagers (Madden, et al., 2013).
Facebook depression is a form of illness that has come up. It defines emotional disturbances that teenagers are experiencing because of competition and comparison with their peers across the globe. Those that feel like they are not liked r followed by other develop emotions that may lead them to change their character. Though research has shown that being popular on social media increases teenager happiness and the trust to socialize, there are issues when this does not happen for some.
Blocking out of parents and caregivers is a major concern. Teenagers feel that those strangers online understand them best. They confine themselves in strangers and thus do not consider the relevance of parents in helping them deal with emotional issues. The challenge of this is that it becomes difficult to tell the results that the stranger expects you of being nice to them. Unlike a parent that has the best interest at heart, the stranger may be looking to learn about the teenager and later use the same against them (Marwick & Boyd, 2014).
Ease of communication by the internet is the best thing that has happened in this century. Teenagers can make thousands of friends, miles away from them. Because of the globalization effect, they get all sorts of information that can help them in learning about the world, particularly on culture. The usefulness of such information is that they have a better understanding of what lies outside their comfort zones and hence can device their way around issues at home as well as make educated guesses on what they want to do after school.
Many researchers agree that social media can be therapeutic. Confused teenagers can find new friends online, talk to them or even watch funny videos on the press and thus reduce their depression levels. Instead of choosing paths such as suicide, teenagers rely on information from their peers. It is natural that they can accept lessons from their friends that therapists because having to see psychiatrists prove to them that they are different. Unlike this, they hide their identity in their comment boxes and personal profiles to become their alter egos. In so doing they make friends and socialize on the same platform as others. It has been argued that this allows them to feel accepted and start creating goals and dreams for the future. By only taking their minds off the issues in life, they gain help and thus begin their healing process.
Marwick, A. E., & Boyd, D. (2014). Networked privacy: How teenagers negotiate context in social media.? New Media & Society, 16(7), 1051-1067.
Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U., Duggan, M., Smith, A., & Beaton, M. (2013). Teens, social media, and privacy. Pew Research Center, 21, 2-86.
Kearney, M. S., & Levine, P. B. (2015). Media influences on social outcomes: The impact of MTV’s 16 and pregnant on teen childbearing. The American Economic Review, 105(12), 3597-3632.
Herring, S. C., & Kapidzic, S. (2015). Teens, gender, and self-presentation in social media. International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences, Oxford: Elsevier.
Strasburger, V. C., Hogan, M. J., Mulligan, D. A., Ameenuddin, N., Christakis, D. A., Cross, C., … & Moreno, M. A. (2013). Children, adolescents, and the media. Pediatrics, 132(5), 958-961.