Social Media and Its Impact on the Youth
Social media also had a huge impact on the youth of this generation. Being open to all manner of positive and negative facets of social media. While it is a forum for collaboration, exchange of information, upgrading abilities and contributing more to their knowledge bank, it can also be a source from which aggressive acts such as cyberbullying and hacking can take place. There are not only positive aspects of the internet, but also negative aspects. The Internet and social media are being browsed every second. Every coin has two sides’ likewise social media while being a blessing in many ways to the youngsters has also become destructive at the same time.
The Negative Impact of Social Media
While on the one hand people are using the internet to educate themselves and make them a better person, on the other hand, some people are using social media for other inappropriate purposes. Also, social media can be a good influence and help the young adolescents in many things like for instance their academics but can also be used to ulterior motives. With the excelling technology of this era, everything is only one click away; the internet is filled with fake pictures and videos promoting body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms. Being able to utilize the internet wisely and within a set period should be the case with young teens but researches and studies show that social media has slowly but effectively taken over the lives of these kids. It has determined that online risks like addiction, cyberbullying, and sexual socialization are associated with adverse impacts of social media.
The Adverse Effects on the Youth
Spending hours on social media has affected an individual’s efficiency and self-confidence tremendously. And with the fast-forwarding world measures should be taken for the safety of the youth. According to some (Amedie 5), cyberbullying, in particular, is linked to depression in young adolescents. After some high-profile suicides being reported, harassment of teenagers was taken into account and inquiry was at its peak, the safety of these young adults was a created a big chaos. Moreover, it pushes the teenagers to commit violent actions like committing suicide and self-harming (Amedie 5). While social media has taken the lead through the fast improving technology and grown tremendously, it gets harder and harder to get teenagers under the lock down and keep them in check for such cases more privacy and safety policies should be introduced and taken care of. Also, many health effects of cyberbullying on social media sites are discovered. Teenagers victims of constant cyberbullying are at a double risk of depression in adulthood, and cyberbullying's effects are relatively worse than child abuse. It is reported that teenagers that are victims of cyberbullying and stalking tend to skip, miss or drop out of school.
The Role of Parents and Education
If they tend to continue school their academic performance gets poorer day by day which results in bad grades, and lowered self-esteem, with reduced self-confidence isolation, follows behind, depression then becomes the fate of these teenagers. Insomnia is another disorder that teens are reported to be having recently, the usage of internet and being a victim of cyberbullying adds to stress and tension tremendously. Parents should grab onto the hints dropped by their young teens and work on their kids, talk about it with them and seek professional help in this matter. Sleep deprivation becomes another issue, not being able just to get a shut eye and always thinking about what would the next thing be, tossing, turning and overthinking. Overthinking creates problems that might not necessarily be present which in turn just adds to the health issues that follow with bullying. Cyber-bullying and stalking is one serious problem that should be taken care of by professional help; it is not in the hands of an average person to handle delicate issues like these (Wang 7). Furthermore, young teens are then forced to consume drugs and alcohol to try and overcome the pressure of cyber-bullying.
The Need for Safety Measures
There are predators out there in search of new meat on social media; they can either destroy you physically or damage you mentally. The effects of bullying are very persistent and don't let go for an extended period even if the victim is finally free from it. The Internet in this excelling generation has been on the hype since technology has been escalating at an increasing speed. Teenagers of this particular generation have never lived in a world without the internet. Networking is part of the main component of the internet, getting connected to family and friends but at the same time, it connects you with strangers all around the world or unsafe people online which can lead to many criminals getting in contact with innocent people (Maier 448).
The Importance of Parental Guidance and Setting Boundaries
Teenagers are prone to make social media with fake identities and approaching solely young kids can not manage the wrong individuals who aren't the fair thing to do as the consequences that follow; they need assistance from their parents in this matter. And parents should keep checking on their teens especially aged 13-17 as this age is a very crucial phase in a kid's life, there should be limited time given to kids by their parents to access social media and not more than that, boundaries and limits should be set. To save the teenagers from grinding themselves over social media over homework assignments and projects, they should be introduced to books and to getting information from books rather than running towards the internet which mostly, doesn't result in doing homework but scrolling through their social media which just wastes a lot of time. Time management should be taught to kids on how to manage their academic life and social life. Also, young adolescents are prone to making friends online that he or she has never met in person. Internet use apparently seems more important than time with friends or hobbies that were previously enjoyed. Also, anxiety becomes another major issue with increased use of the internet, being away from the internet creates the same effect as any drug withdrawal symptoms would. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression are side effects of too much internet usage too. The Internet can also be used as an escape from their adulating emotions and hormones of adolescence. Not only this, but young people tend to lose a lot of sleep over social media and the network through the internet. Lack of face-to-face communication may sound ironic, but it's relatively easier to communicate through the internet (Siddiqui 72).
The Need for Awareness and Education
Adding to that, lack of creativity is another negative aspect of the internet rooting from its benefits. Last but not the least, this is a negative aspect that should be worked on, and parenting skills should be taken into account. Monitoring the use and time limit of the usage of internet in a teenager's life should be taken seriously as this matter is not going to solve itself but just escalate it, taking safety measures can help the youth work on themselves and broaden their horizons. Many networking websites grow and change with time and have more and more dangerous features introduced that could convince the teens to adopt them. Teens who are new to social media, who are usually younger and don't have much knowledge about it tend to upload a lot less than compared to older teens who update almost every single detail of their life like a holy grail. This isn't advised keeping in account some pedophiles roaming around looking for new meat. Another one of social media's adverse aspects is privacy disruption, being able to have access to social networking sites like, Facebook, twitter, MySpace, and Instagram teenagers have been so occupied by the hype of these social apps that they've forgotten what practical life is. Exchanging pictures, personal and sensitive information like ID numbers could put their lives at a higher rate of risk (Allen 20). Young teens are mostly unaware of the risks that stand for them and have no idea what is approaching them at what time too. You never know who is reviewing your information. There might be information being exchanged on the internet without your permission. No matter how many privacy measures are taken the internet and social media are never safe.
The Role of Parents and Education in Ensuring Safety
For example, researchers have discovered that 1.7 million pictures are updated every second and privacy settings are updated every minute at a phenomenal speed. Young adults should be guided through these stages where they don't exactly have the right amount of awareness about the risks by updating every bit of their personal lives can put them at the top of the list of victims of cyberbullying which in turn mostly ends up in teenagers self-harming, suicide, and depression. Young teens spend hours and hours on social apps updating personal information and exchanging information that they otherwise shouldn't which affects their practical life, relationship with their close ones and also their academic life. In the end, being on social media for extended periods of time affects the self-esteem of a young teen since; many fake edited pictures promote unhealthy lifestyle habits. Hence, it is the duty of the parents to take care of their young teenagers and create awareness among them about the dangers of social media and also guide them through the privacy issues. Social media if used for a limited period can benefit young adolescents and help them with many skills and help educate them (Ferguson 4). Teenagers of this generation set their boundaries and limits. However, the negative aspects outweigh the positive aspects of social media. And young teens' safety should be taken care of.
In conclusion, social media while having its positive aspects has its downfalls too. Though there are more negative impacts of socially being active it still provides young adults the knowledge and information they need to groom themselves and make them into responsible adults. With its different diversifications, its impact is different on people. Although, in a world like this it's difficult to decipher between the right and wrong, instead of looking up to social media for guidance young teens should talk among friends and create their communities in this practical world, the more exposure to the real world the better. Lastly, social media has invaded the privacy of the general majority not only teenagers. It is up to us to step forward and take measures to solve these issues and work on them. No matter how many privacy settings have been updated, there is nothing that is safe on the Internet and most importantly, social media. What surfaces is a depiction of teens? Young adolescents are careful about what they post, especially aged 18-25, busy with their schooling schedules they know what to upload when but at the same time, there is a minority amongst them that has no idea how to use certain social apps and least bothered about what could harm them in real their lives. There should be campaigns and programs advertised in different schools and colleges to create awareness amongst the young teenagers and enlighten them about the dangers of social media and what it can do to their lives. It should be taken into consideration that excessive use and spending long haul hours on social media and the internet can result in teenagers being lazy in their practical life, disturb their academic performances and upset their normal routines. Many safety measures can be taken to stop these young teens from entirely depending on the internet and social media and using it to more than they should. They should be made aware that socializing in their practical life is more important than making virtual friends online that they probably won't even meet in person. So it's better for them to spend their time with family and friends, strengthening their bonds and being productive with their lives which will hopefully be beneficial in their later life.
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Amedie, Jacob. "The Impact of social media on society." (2015).
Allen, Kelly A., et al. "Social media use and social connectedness in adolescents: The positives and the potential pitfalls. The Educational and Developmental Psychologist 31.1 (2014): 18-31.
Ferguson, Christopher J., et al. "Concurrent and prospective analyses of peer, television, and social media influences on body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, and life satisfaction in adolescent girls." Journal of youth and adolescence 43.1 (2014): 1-14.
Maier, Christian, et al. "Giving too much social support: social overload on social networking sites." European Journal of Information Systems 24.5 (2015): 447-464.
Siddiqui, Shabnoor, and Tajinder Singh. "Social Media its Impact with Positive and Negative Aspects." International Journal of Computer Applications Technology and Research 5.2 (2016): 071-075.
Wang, Qingya, Wei Chen, and Yu Liang. "The effects of social media on college students." (2011).