top of page

Influence of Social Media on Teenagers

In current times, Social Media plays a pivotal role in our lives, and over the years, the amount of time we spend on it has been rapidly increasing. It is a powerful tool, which very often becomes addictive and ultimately often impossible to live without, especially among teenagers and youth.

Uses of social media platforms range from entertainment and self-expression to educational purposes and like everything in life, it comes with its costs and benefits. It plays the role of a double-edged sword. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of social media use among teenagers.


What are some negative effects of social media use on teenagers?


Cyber Bullying

A very significant risk associated with the use of social media among teenagers is ‘Cyber Bullying’. Teenagers often use social media to engage in bullying their peers either anonymously or with their identity. If they are not monitored, some teens use social media to post hateful messages against their classmates and friends. While parents and teachers want healthier ways to disagree and share emotions, social media allows for the dark side of it. This can also result in anxiety, stress, depressed mood, and low self-esteem.


Stalking

Since social media platforms are used primarily for interaction and networking purposes, teens use apps that constantly update their location with their peers, share their personal information and also take interest in their peers’ personal lives. While it may help them feel a hyperconnected sense of community, it also acts as a potential risk. It might also attract anti-social elements that can lure youngsters into undesirable activities


Body Image

For years the media has set unrealistic expectations and falsely portrayed standards of perfectionism. Each time an impressionable teenager sees the ‘so-called’ perfect images of film stars celebrities, or even of their friends on the internet, they get carried away into an unrealistic world of perfectionism. Since the personality and self-image of a teen are still developing, social media paves the way for an environment where it’s easy for teens to compare themselves to other peers, celebrities, or influencers. This can have negative effects as the teen feels the pressure to match up to unrealistic standards set by the media. This in turn can lead to feelings of inadequacy and later in life, this can lead to body image issues and lead into body dysmorphia, or other eating disorders.


Personal Privacy

It’s very simple to post private information about ourselves without even realizing it. Teens often post pictures of themselves, their houses, and localities, tag their locations, share their numbers, and email IDs on platforms, and even share videos, their birth dates, and their relationship status. This way, the teen’s private information is often compromised.


Socialization

Due to excessive use of media platforms, teens get very engrossed and become comfortable being at home with their devices, chatting, and socializing through their screens. Without physical social interaction, teenagers tend to become introverted in real company and this prevents them from having actual life experiences.


Video Games

Video games are another medium that can have long-term risks. They encourage violence and aggression in teens, through ways of modeling and can be detrimental to themselves and others. Constantly playing video games can take away outdoor play time from children causing them to be more addicted to their devices and leading to an unhealthy lifestyle.


Comparative behaviors

Very often teens use social media as a yardstick to measure successes and failures. Constantly looking at the daily lives and posts of their peers or influencers on social media will lead to self-comparisons and thereby a sense of dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. Inevitably they will end up frustrated and anxious which will show up in all areas of life.

While we have seen the dark side of social media, and its negative effects on young and impressionable minds, simultaneously, it can also benefit them in several ways.


Social Media improves communication, confidence, and social skills

It offers teenagers the opportunity to interact with other peers in a way that feels safe to them. The use of social media for communication is also highly beneficial for teens who are introverted and timid and who might otherwise struggle to strike up a conversation or make a friend. Having to be social behind a screen allows for time to think and act in ways that are comfortable for the teenager. They may communicate and interact with individuals from all over the world, and may come across like-minded individuals, which might boost their confidence in their areas of interest. It can translate into their face-to-face interactions, helping individuals get over their shyness.


Support

Social media may be a fantastic tool for teens to encourage, inspire and support one another. Teenagers frequently utilize social media to communicate with their pals regarding their personal issues, thereby allowing for support and building intimate friendships.


Creativity

Social media platforms encompass a wide range of content ranging from visual such as written content, photos, and graphics to auditory such as podcasts and audio clips. Teenagers can use social media platforms for their interests and hobbies and up skill based on the different apps and social groups available. It would serve as an ideal place for them to share their work, skills, and talent and get feedback, and encouragement from others, so as to improve their creativity, innovation, and out-of-the-box thinking.


Educational Purposes

It can also serve as a great resource for educating teenagers. Teenagers' use of social media for education too can be quite effective. Although there may be more opportunity to shape the narrative when speaking with kids one-on-one, social media and the internet in general continue to be effective tools for imparting knowledge to young people. They can pick up new information by reading articles posted on social media sites or even watching movies on YouTube and other websites. Many educational institutions, news outlets, and other educational agencies use social media to spread information and frequently do so with a focus on teens.


Self-Expression and Individuality of Thinking

It’s no secret that there is a lot of false and misleading material on the internet. The drawback of everyone being allowed to express their views or opinions is the ease with which incorrect information can spread. Teenagers, however, can benefit from this if they are taught how to properly evaluate material and other people’s viewpoints. They can study, check the facts, and create their own opinions if they have the necessary critical thinking abilities. Everyone has at some point believed a falsehood because they were reacting too quickly, but kids may learn the skills necessary to pause and consider the information before sharing it without a second thought. They might also often feel unheard and can use their platforms for self-expression such as writing, venting, and voicing their opinions. In this way, social media offers them a voice and courage to speak out in person too.

5 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page