It is almost impossible to deny the fact that the social media plays an imperative part of teenager’s lives. The debate regarding the use of social media as a boon or a curse has increased substantially (Boyd 2014). Is the introduction of social media a blessing or a curse, is a still a big question to the world. Focusing on the positive effects of the use of social media, it is a great way to connect with the people. Research has found out that most of the teenagers tend to spend at least an hour or two on using social media sites on a daily basis. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are the few common topics of discussion among the teens and the young adults (Best, Manktelow and Taylor 2014). Furthermore, social media plays an important role in providing improved facilities to the procedure of education in the current time. Online education videos, educational blogs, and posts on the social media platform are some of the beneficial things contributing to the positive sides of the use of social media. According to the research study, one of the major contributors towards the extensive growth of social media among the teenagers is the easy access and demands for Android and iPhones and other electronic technological devices. These electronic devices allow the teenagers to socialize with other fellows on the social networking sites (Yonker et al. 2015). Furthermore, use of social media helps in updating with the data throughout the world; it helps the teenagers to stay connected with their family and friends even if they are miles apart.
Besides this social media sites provides the teenagers a platform where they can develop and form their pages and groups on the basis of their common disciplines and opportunities for their respective goals and careers (Marwick and Boyd 2014). Teenagers get the chance to talk and discuss on various topics on the platform of social media with eminent experts or professionals which in turn helps them to boost up their knowledge regarding the subject of discussion, further inducing the teenagers to gain multiple ideas and knowledge which they can utilize in their upcoming life (Alwagait, Shahzad and Alim 2015). Some of the factors that contributes to the advantages of using social media for the teenager includes a newer and innovative way for the teenagers or the young adults to express themselves, opportunity to learn across the oceans from various scholars and teachers across the globe, improved opportunities for employment and internship programs in other countries, chance to share self knowledge, thoughts and other social behavior in social media platforms like Quora (Yonker et al. 2015). Besides this, social media in the current day is one of the most preferred media to the young adults and the teenagers to express any of their talents (Dunbar 2016).
Technology is one of the most vital parts of the success of the teens. In short, the positive effects of the use of social media in the lives of the teenagers in the modern-day includes an opportunity for a great source of income, chance to build up a strong relationship, opportunity to reduce obstacles for effective communication with the entire world. Though there are ample of advantages of the use of social media by the young adults and the teenagers, however excessive use of the media tends to turn the teenagers into isolation and other major issues. While facilitating the teenagers with ample options and opportunities to gain further knowledge in the process of learning and education, use of social media can negatively impact the teenagers’ lives and their health with the absence of the supervision of the elders (Wisniewski et al. 2015). It is the tendency if the teenagers to use the platform of social media to communicate with their friends. In many situations, there lies a psychological barrier in the mind of the teenagers that they might miss out someone or they might be forgotten by the others. This thought compels the teenagers to dedicate most of their time on the social media platform which results in addiction. Furthermore, the tendency to use mobiles and other electronic technological devices from a very tender age is resulting in the addiction among the young adults and the teenagers to spend more of their time on the media platforms rather than giving time to themselves and their family (Alwagait, Shahzad and Alim 2015). One of the major disadvantages and the negative aspect of the use of social media among the teenagers is the impact of the media on the emotional and mental health of the teenagers.
In these days, the emotional health statuses of the teenagers are directly connected to their social media accounts. Rising level of anxiety and lower self-esteem among the teenagers due to the excessive use of social media contributes to the negative impact of social media on their lives (Marwick and Boyd 2014). According to researchers, lack of parental supervision and proper guidance to the teenagers is leading them to become the victims of cyber bullying or other issues on the internet platform. Further researches have revealed that the use of social media among the teenagers have increased the rate of suicide and depression among the teenagers residing in the United States in the current years. Teenagers in the current days tend to keep themselves busy for hours on the social media platform even at their bedtime which in turn increases the rate of insomnia and other health-related issues (Marwick and Boyd 2014). One of the major examples in this context is the emission of the harmful ray of lights from the electronic devices which tends to affect the vision and the sleep among the teenagers. This deprivation of sleep and rest impacts directly on the health and the livelihood of the teenagers in the current days (Richards, Caldwell and Go 2015). The excessive use of social media among the teenagers in the current world is leading them to be socially isolated. This social isolation is further resulting in numerous emotional, physical, psychological and mental issues among the teen lives (Best, Manktelow and Taylor 2014).
Furthermore, increased rate of exposure to the online predators, spreading of misinformation, decreased rate of productivity and increased rate of identity theft in the social media platform are some of the negative factors that tend to affect the lives of the teenagers (Wartella et al. 2016). To summarize, some of the major disadvantages of the use of social media among the teenagers are chances of cyber bullying, increased chances of hacking of personal data and information which can result in privacy theft, financial issues and loss of personal life (Moreno and Whitehill 2014). One of the major disadvantages of social media is the extensive involvement or chances of addiction among the young adults and the teenagers. Furthermore, increased tendency of being the victims of fraud and scams, increased security issues, problems regarding cheating relationship issues and chances of damage of reputation by the means of false stories are some of the negative impacts of the use of social media on the lives of the teenagers in the current era (Kearney and Levine 2015). Not just by the usage, social media can be life-threatening at some times when the teenagers tend to try stunts and other crazy pieces of stuff that are shared on the platform of social media. The teenagers furthermore tend to follow wealthy and drug addicts on the media platform which eventually led them to get addicted to alcohol, drugs and other harmful means.
Usage of social media clearly portrays both the negative and the positive effects on the teenagers. Teenagers tend to develop effective communication skills and critical thinking skills in the context of gaining knowledge by the use of social media. Banning the teenagers from using the platform of social media is not the only solution for the consequences. Hence parental control over the activities of the teenagers in the social media platform is essential to avoid any kinds of danger that might affect the lives of the teenagers.
The online social media have acquired an astounding growth worldwide in the current era. With the changing time, almost all the generations have embraced and adopted the changes; the social media has brought to their lives. In the growing era of technological up-gradation and innovation, young adults and the teenagers are the most fanatic users of the social media. It is everywhere and in the today’s time, social media is an inseparable part of each and every teenager’s life (Moreno and Whitehill 2014). Though there lay both positive and negative effects of the use of social media in the teenager's life, the social media plays a much important role in developing the identity of the teenagers which is essential in the current progressing world (Richards, Caldwell and Go 2015). The paper aims to target both the positive and the negative impacts of the use of social media or the influence of social media on the lives of teenagers.
Alwagait, E., Shahzad, B. and Alim, S., 2015. Impact of social media usage on students academic performance in Saudi Arabia. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, pp.1092-1097.
Best, P., Manktelow, R. and Taylor, B., 2014. Online communication, social media and adolescent wellbeing: A systematic narrative review. Children and Youth Services Review, 41, pp.27-36.
Boyd, D., 2014. It's complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press.
Dunbar, R.I., 2016. Do online social media cut through the constraints that limit the size of offline social networks?. Royal Society Open Science, 3(1), p.150292.
Kearney, M.S. and Levine, P.B., 2015. Media influences on social outcomes: The impact of MTV's 16 and pregnant on teen childbearing. American Economic Review, 105(12), pp.3597-3632.
Marwick, A.E. and Boyd, D., 2014. Networked privacy: How teenagers negotiate context in social media. New Media & Society, 16(7), pp.1051-1067.
Moreno, M.A. and Whitehill, J.M., 2014. Influence of social media on alcohol use in adolescents and young adults. Alcohol research: current reviews, 36(1), p.91.
Richards, D., Caldwell, P.H. and Go, H., 2015. Impact of social media on the health of children and young people. Journal of paediatrics and child health, 51(12), pp.1152-1157.
Wartella, E., Rideout, V., Montague, H., Beaudoin-Ryan, L. and Lauricella, A., 2016. Teens, health and technology: A national survey. Media and communication, 4(3).
Wisniewski, P., Jia, H., Xu, H., Rosson, M.B. and Carroll, J.M., 2015, February. Preventative vs. reactive: How parental mediation influences teens' social media privacy behaviors. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (pp. 302-316). ACM.
Yonker, L.M., Zan, S., Scirica, C.V., Jethwani, K. and Kinane, T.B., 2015. “Friending” teens: systematic review of social media in adolescent and young adult health care. Journal of medical Internet research, 17(1).