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Influence of Social Media on Teenagers


Date Posted: 1/28/2017 12:24:44 AM

Posted By: 4520  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 5251

Social media has more of adverse effects to the adolescents than its benefits.
The influence of social media on teenagers remains imperative, not simply because this particular group is significantly vulnerable, but also they are among the regular users of the social networking. A report released by Common Sense Media, indicate that three-quarters of teenagers in the United States own profiles on the social networks. It also shows that 68 percent of the teenagers have Facebook as their principle social network platform. Therefore, social media remains top of the things that take up the lion part of leisure time for youths.

Social networking undoubtedly constitutes of significant roles in integrating social relations and networks, as well as ingraining technical skills into the young people. However, the risks accompanying the social media cannot be overlooked. Adolescents cannot master the art of self-regulation while using the social media which makes them susceptible to peer pressure. Thus, they indulge into social evils such as sexting, cyber bullying, and Facebook depression. Such vices come out as realistic threats. Besides, other threats such as obesity induced by the network, lack of enough sleep, and internet addiction stand as topics of contention concerning the youths. Such factors have brought up contradicting results and statistics from different studies.

The American Psychological Association has the definition of bullying as an aggressive behavior that by one person that jeopardizes the comfort of someone else. The social media has overly resulted to cyber bullying. Such a vice ranges from direct threatening, through trolling to nasty emails. Studies indicate that 32 percent adolescents who use the Internet report cases of abuse by others on the various platforms. However, only a minute 13 percent admit to the fact of receiving aggressive and threatening messages (Madden, Lenhart, et al., 2013). Forwarding a private message without the

permission of the original sender constitutes cyberbullying. In that connection, Pew Research found that 15 percent of teenagers found it disturbing after their private message got posted on the social media. Social media challenges to the youth cannot yield productive debate without talking about trolling. It involves deliberately inflicting hatred, racism, bigotry, or even simple quarreling between people over the social networks. According to research, 28 percent of the American teens have experienced the wrath of trolling.

The internet facilitates anonymity, a fertile ground for cyber bullying. As per the statistics from the, both the famous and those on fringes suffer bullying. In the same vein, The National Council on Crime Prevention surveyed on the victims of bullying, citing that 75 percent of the victims of the cyber bullying trace the executor of the vice (Madden, Lenhart, et al., 2013). Thus the anonymity does not come with the safety in the beliefs of the bully. The same studies indicate that only 23 percent claim not to know the individuals who bullied them.

Cyberbully appears natural because the victims' reactions do not come out in person. Therefore, the effect of the consequences is incredibly small. However, the reality has it that the effects may be life-threatening. Some teens face the consequences to the extent of reaching levels that require special medical attention. It 's hard to recognize the victims of cyber bullying.

Sexting, on the other hand, encompasses the act of sending pictures of sexual content or messages containing sexually explicit messages to other people or groups. It appears as an activity common to the teen community in the social media. A countrywide survey carried out by the National Campaign to Support Teen, and Unplanned Pregnancy indicated an incredible 20 percent of adolescents participating in sexting (Madden, Lenhart, et al., 2013). Boys, most likely sent sexually suggestive messages while girls have higher chances of posting inappropriate photos of themselves to their male counterparts. Such information can easily go viral over the internet. Most teenagers share the messages they get with others, even with more than one person.

Facebook depression, defined as the emotional disturbance resulting from teens spending a significant amount of time on the social media sites, has become the order of the day. Recent studies depict comparisons with others as the primary cause of Facebook depression, whether down-comparison or up-comparison (Madden, Lenhart, et al., 2013). However, contradicting studies indicate that Facebook makes teens happier while increasing social trust and engagements amongst the users. This perspective argues that social media enables sharing, which in turn brings the sense of psychological satisfaction.
The social media platforms have broad issues such as the reduced levels of privacy and sharing significant chunks of information. Thus, it tries to disconnect the teens from reality. Since the internet has considerably high levels of permanence, it can have lasting repercussions. The amount of information shared in the social media comes out as an incredible risk. Also, teens share too much personal data on the online platforms (Madden, Lenhart, et al., 2013). However, a contradiction comes up where 44 percent of the teens think that the information they share on the social platforms gets used against them.

Web visitors leave a trail of the content they interact within the net. This record of network activity is known as a digital footprint. Such prints appear as incredible threats to the young people concerning their future reputations. Teenagers posting inappropriate pictures and messages on the social networking platforms do not recognize the permanence of social networks. That way the youth may jeopardize their future jobs after their social network track record monitored at the slightest click of the mouse. Besides, the indiscriminate use of social media makes the teenagers as easier targets for marketers and fraudsters. With the myriad of ads on the social media, the view of what appears normal changes in the eyes of the adolescents.

While adolescence proves to be the bridge to move across to the other side of the world, parents must have a hand in the process. Thus, caregivers and relatives should acquire a significant level of education which allows then to garner down the pros and cons of social networking. In so doing, the parents would then infer the values to the teenagers. Besides, the parents would gather the awareness as to what activities the teens are capable of carrying out on social media. Therefore, it becomes imperative that parents become aware of the private setting as well as profile settings of their wards. Holding open discussions with the teens concerning etiquettes and protocols of social networking would establish better relations and healthier interactions. While the internet and social networking has faced the globe with unique benefits, it leaves rocky patches in the lives of the teens. Teenagers cannot see an entire separation from the social media, but informed monitoring by parents and caregivers can do a great deal in lessening the impacts.

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