The Impact Of Social Media On Teenagers
Sexting refers to sending sexually explicit messages
There are few technologies that are having as great an impact on our personal and social lives as social media. Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are household names now. Social media is relatively a new technology so the full extent of its impact may not be known for decades. However, we do have at least a basic understanding of how it is affecting users, particularly, teenagers, and the early findings should worry all stakeholders including the parents, schools, and even the government.
Many teenagers become addicted to social media without even realizing it. This results in waste of valuable time resources that could be spent on other productive activities. Social media addiction does not only distract from other useful activities but ong the teenagers. Many teenagers feel high level of pressure and anxiety to stay –up-to-date on the social find more media (Jakobsons, 2017). It is clear that the teenagers should be encouraged to use social media responsibly.
Social media promotes cyberbullying among the teenagers. The teenagers may say things on the social media that they may not say face-to-face. Social media also allows some participants to mask their identity and provide them with sense of anonimity. The arguments on social media sometimes turn into ego battles where the teenage participants try to put down each other (Jakobsons, 2017). This also means that more teenagers are at risk of bullying now because bullies on social media are not constrained by geographical and time factors, and they may also be willing to push the envelope due to wide audience.
Social media ong the teenagers, especially girls, who often face huge pressure to appear perfect in photos. There is also a temptation to seek affirmation through feedback such as likes, and lack of likes and other forms of desirable feedback may lead to feelings of doubt and even depression in the long run. Depressive feelings may also result from jealousy if friends engage in ‘desirable lifestyles’ such as expensive vacations (Jakobsons, 2017) and flaunt expensive purchases. In short, social media increases the pressure on the teenagers to appear cool and perfect in the eyes of friends and acquaintances.
Social media has also promoted the culture of sexting among the teenagers. A survey by National Campaign to Support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 20 percent of the teenagers engage in sexting. 55 percent of the teenagers, who received sexting messages, admitted to sharing them with more than one person. It is clear that many teenagers underestimate the privacy risks on the social media.
Many sexting messages are aimed at particular individuals such as teenage girls sending photos to their boyfriends yet that does not stop those messages from going viral, resulting in humiliation to the subjects of sexting (Ramasubbu, 2015)
Social media is a revolutionary technology that is impacting the teenagers in numerous and often undesirable ways. Social media use results in waste of valuable time resources among the teenagers. Social media also promotes cyberbullying among the teenagers because it encourages them to act in manner they may not face-to-face. Similarly, social media removes the geographical and time constraints present in real world bullying. Social media may also promote personal insecurities, depression, and envy among the teenagers who are under pressure to look perfect and frequently exposed to the lifestyles of their peers. Social media has also given birth to the culture of sexting among the teenagers. Many teenagers underestimate the privacy issues that arise from sexting. It is in the bet interests of the society to promote healthy social media habits among the teenagers to minimize the negative consequences of social media.