The Pros and Cons of Teens on Social Media
Every teenager is a member of one or more social media platforms. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, SnapChat or any other platform, social media tends to form an integral part of their lives. Social media has its advantages and disadvantages in the way it affects the lives of teenagers. Let us take a look at some of these effects.
Positive effects of social media on the lives of teenagers
1. They become more informed about current affairs.
With social media, teens can easily find out about what is going on in their neighborhood, school, state, country and even the entire world. It is an important way to equip themselves with adequate knowledge of current affairs. This information can be quite useful and enables them to make informed decisions based on what they know.
2. It is easier to study and carry out research work.
Social media platforms can act as a great study tool for students. They can use them to ask each other difficult questions that they could not solve on their own. It also makes it easier to for group discussions and study groups even when they are far from each other. Students can also post research work on social media platforms to educate other students on a particular topic.
3. Boosts self esteem
Social media provides a place where teens can freely express themselves. They can join groups and fan pages that they are interested in and which reflect their own unique personality. This empowers them and makes them know that their opinion counts, thus boosting their self-esteem. Their confidence online is also transferred to their physical lives where they are able to pursue their passions to the fullest.
4. Helps teens with disabilities interact at the same level with others
Many times, teens with disabilities do not get an equal chance to interact with others. However, social media offers an equal opportunity to everyone. Teens with disabilities can do all of the activities that their fellow teenagers do on social media. This makes them feel that they actually belong and realize that they are not different at all.
5. Assists in getting jobs
There are many jobs posted and applied for with the use of social media. Whether they are part time, full time, volunteer positions, internships or contract jobs, they can all be found on social media platforms that provide users with the ability to create their own unique profile of skills and interests. This allows teenagers to have access to new job opportunities especially from their locality.
6. Social media helps teens keep up to date with the current technology
We all have to admit that this is the age of rapid technological advancements. When teenagers use social media, they embrace the technology that is widely available and use it for their own good. It is good for them to keep up with the changing trends in technology.
Negative effects of social media on the lives of teenagers
1. Teens are exposed to cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is one of the more negative influences that presents itself in social media especially for teenagers. It gives a platform for cyberbullies to taunt and bully others. It is easier to bully others through social media than to do it physically. Due to the huge level of networking offered by social media, cyberbullying moves from bad to worse in a matter of days causing long lasting pain.
2. Isolation of kids with disabilities
Teens with disabilities can become a target of prejudice from their fellow teens. This can make them feel isolated and very lonely. The situation is made worse by the fact that many teenagers will often carry on with their online attitudes even when they are interacting face to face.
3. Decrease in productivity levels
Social media is very engaging and leads to teenagers spending a lot of time on them. They may neglect their school work, extra-curricular activities and even their friends and family so that they can play a game or chat about various things not related to schoolwork. This clearly reduces their productivity levels. Such kids even start failing in school work and may end up being addicted to the social media platforms.
4. Destroys social skills
Due to the increase in the time spent interacting in the virtual world of social media; it affects the face to face communication and social skills of teenagers. You can find very outspoken kids on social media being quite reserved when it comes to face to face interactions. Knowing where to hold our hands and what kinds of facial expressions to hold are something that comes with face-to-face interactions.
5. Leads to disclosing of too much information
Social media has a way of making teens disclose a lot of information that they would not disclose face to face. By giving out too much information, for example about where one lives, where they go to school and other personal details, the teen could inadvertently make it easier for those who want to do them harm.