Social media has influenced the way teens access and share information. With the increase in the number of social media channels, many teens find it fun to register in various social media platforms. Social media has several benefits to the teenagers. Social media allows teens to talk to their friends, join group discussions, and learn the current events and stay updated with the online content. It also helps teenagers to feel less isolated, have fun with their friends by commenting on their posts, and develop better social skills. Teenagers are always anxious to know what their friends have posted on social media. As such, they spend a lot of time to text and comment on such posts before going to bed (Udorie, 2015). In this way, they keep exchanging messages, videos, and photos until late in the night, thus affecting their sleep (Lemola et al 2015). Social media has several negative effects compared to the positive ones.
Social media has been used by teenagers to acquire necessary information for their personal benefit. They use social media to pass important information to their friends (Boyd, 2014). They can use it pass or receive valuable information. The teens use various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and WhatsApp to share relevant information with their friends. Social media also enables teenagers to develop their social skills, share personal information such as photos, videos or recorded audio information (Lundahal, 2013). As such, they can have fun with their friends. The use of social media has also increased since teenagers can use it to share creative ideas with friends on various subjects. They also use social media to get updated on the current fashion, music, and other relevant information. Besides, they get to update themselves on the current online content. Apart from communication and information, social media has played a critical role in the development of children. Social media has allowed teenagers to improve their intellectual ability. For instance, children have been able to develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. This has been achieved by playing different computer games. Besides, they have developed better ethical thinking as they can compare the family values in the fiction and various documentaries.
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Furthermore, the movies and TV shows which are based on various books have encouraged the teenagers to read. As such, it has lead to increased usage of social media in the recent past. Teenagers have been able to develop their creative skills. Such skills have enabled them to create videos, music and other artist work. This has been possible because of the existence of different software applications which are available online. Therefore, communication and getting relevant information from the social media is important for the well-being and development of the teenagers.
Teenagers have frequently misused social media in different ways. They have different platforms of social media to access information which is not relevant. The social media platforms have been blamed for the increasing rates of immorality in the society among the young generations. Immoral and obscene contents are spread easily on the social media platforms more than ever known before. Besides, the teen also uses social media to share hate messages. Thus, it has created a situation where several social evils are perpetrated. Pornographic contents are being spread and shared easily by teenagers on the social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, thereby leading to the destruction of the moral fabrics of the society. Teenagers have also used social media platforms to cheat on exams and assignments (McGilivray, 2015). Most teens use social media to cheat in exams. This is because of the availability of applications that allow them read and copy materials from the social media. Most of them no longer work hard in their assignments or do not spend much time to read since they can easily access exam materials from the social media. This is usually not right since it makes exams to lose its meaning and purpose. Teenagers who make use of social media do not concentrate in class. Other teenagers use social media to post photos of their friends or classmates with rants. They then laugh at their clothes, hair, dress or economic status. Others have created ‘expose pages’ on social media where they post ugly and promiscuous posts about their friends and classmates. The social media platforms have encouraged the young ones to be more public about personal affairs that ought to remain private. Teenagers have also misused social media to make their friends vulnerable to the cyber-bullying. In this case, the perpetrators pose as trusted friends and end up terrorizing unsuspecting young ones. The bullying is so devastating that they leave mental and emotional scars on the teenagers. Cyber bullying is spreading fast among the young generation, thereby leading to harmful effects.
Too much of something is dangerous. Social media has proved to be detrimental to the health of the young ones. Most teens who use social media at night do not have enough sleep. Most of them have developed insomnia which is caused by inadequate sleep. There are also increased risks of depression and anxiety among the teenagers due to mounting pressure to use social media frequently even during class time (Weale, 2015). Excessive use of social media, especially at night is also linked to lower or reduced self-esteem among the young generation. This is because they spend much time at night responding to posts of friends. As such, they become inactive during the day thus lowering their self-esteem. Increased use of social media has also exposed teens to the risk of having poor mental ability or health.
Too much dependent on social media has adverse effects on the teenagers. Social media encourages students to cheat in both assignments and exams. Besides, teenagers use social media to media to acquire irrelevant and useful information. Besides, excessive use of social media has affected their lives negatively. It is the responsibility of the parents to discourage their children from accessing learning materials that can interfere with their studies. For instance, parents should discourage their children from accessing pornographic materials from the social media. As such, they should monitor how the teens use social media. Teenagers should be encouraged to do their own genuine work. Social media should not encourage them to cheat in exams. Several teenagers have also suffered from cyber bullying. The cyber bullies have taken advantage of their innocence to exploit them. The society should promote unity and social interaction. However, this has changed in the recent past. Most of the teens give more time to social media compared to friends. As such, they find themselves lonely and isolated. Most of them are glued to social media that they do not even find time for family members and friends. Teenagers get more harm from the social media compared to positive effects. From the preceding, it is clear that social media has provided both opportunities and challenges to teenagers. Therefore, it has both positive and negative impacts on their lives. The adverse effects need to be addressed while the active ones should be embraced so as to make the society a better place for the young people.
- Boyd. D. (2014). It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. New Haven: Yale University Press
- Lemola S. Perkinson-Gloor N., Brands., Dewald-Kaufmann J. & Grob A. (2015) Adolescents electronic media use at night, sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms in the smart phone age. Journal of youth and Adolescence
- Lundahl Philpot E (2013) Social media adoption and use among information technology and implications for leadership (Order No. 35708941) Available from ABI/INFORM Collection
- McGlivray N. (2015) What are the effects of social media on youth? Turbo Future. Retrieved from https: turbofuture,com internet effects-of-social-media-on-our-youth on 28th Jan, 2017
- Udorie E. J (2015) social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act: Retrieved from: https: www.theguardian.com commentisfree 2015
- Weale S. (2015) Teen’s Night-Time Use of Social Media Risk Harming Mental Health. Retrieved from https: www.theguardian.com society 2015 Sept