Influence of social media on teenagers
The internet in comparison to other forms of media influences the youth and results in major changes in their lives. The other media inclusive of newspapers and television have a less proportion of influence. As the youth grow, they dress, talk and behave similarly to celebrities and popular individuals. They make a choice on a group that they want to belong to. It is close to impossible for a youth to resist joining facebook or twitter among other platforms. Therefore, most of the youth ignore other activities including sports and studying to constantly spend their time on social media. It results in poor development of the body and the advent of health issues.
While young individuals have constantly been influenced by the media, the impact of social media on youth is developing more opportunities and challenges. A research by Nielson showed that approximately 80 percent of the active users of the internet constantly visit social media platforms. The National Boards Association statistics show that young individuals aged between 9 to 17 years spent approximately nine hours every week on social media platforms. Changes in technology such as the advancement of internet use in smartphones tablets and ipads make it easier to access social media.
Social networking is essential in the increase of social connections and the development of technical skills. The absence of difficulty in susceptibility and self-regulation to peer pressure influences adolescents towards various aspects of immorality including sexting and cyberbullying that are considered threats. Other problems include obesity induced by the social network, addiction to the internet and the deprivation of sleep. Bullying is defined as a behavior characterized by the aggressiveness that results in the discomfort of the victim. Cyberbullying varies from threats to emails from anonymous people and also includes trolling.
Progressively, approximately 1 percent of youth surveyed admitted having received aggressive and threatening messages posted or forwarded from a public forum. The research also found that almost 40 percent of the youth in social media platforms were bullied in comparison to 22 percent of teenagers that do not access social media sites. Trolling is defined as the infliction of hatred, racism, bigotry misogyny or bickering among people using anonymous personalities.
Further, a major cause of the cyberbullying in social media is the aspect of anonymity over the internet. There exist two types of individuals that are considered cyberbullies- those on the society's fringes and the popular ones. The popular cyberbullies conduct their pervasive actions in order to constantly gain popularity and power. The former troll other internet users on social media to regain their position in society or try to fit in it.
The views of teenagers on attitudes, things, and opinions change. They copy the styles of celebrities and other famous people forgetting who they are. Majority of the youth try to imitate the celebrities and forget about constructive aspects of their lives that would determine their futures. The platforms impose a model of behavior, style, fashion and attitude that makes children act in a similar manner.
Conclusively parents are required to stay close with their children on precautions while they are using social media platforms. Majority of the youth post inappropriate images and information about themselves with strangers that in turn haunts them. Youth should be educated on the dangers of social media predation and sharing of personal information. The information will be used constantly to undermine their self-esteem. The cyber bullies take advantage those that carelessly share their information.
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