Free Essay Investigating the Effects of Social Media on Adolescents and Young Adults

Published: 2022-08-01
Free Essay Investigating the Effects of Social Media on Adolescents and Young Adults
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Social media
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 866 words
8 min read

Adolescence is the growth-oriented and interim period whereby individuals establish a clear and concise sense of their physical identity. The social media platforms have really changed the ways in which the adolescents and young adults socialize, self-identify and also perceive the world surrounding them. The various social media platforms have resulted in both merits and drawbacks to the teenage and young adult users. The platforms consist of important developmental tasks for the adolescents that actually allows them to build tangential relationships and cultivate self-esteem (O'keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 801). However, the social media platforms offer several new and exciting criteria for the adolescents to circumscribe their identities. It is truly evident that these platforms have essentially contributed to the numerous challenges that the adolescents and young adults encounter in the process of understanding their personal identity and where they belong in this world.

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The passion of the young adults for social media platforms is thought to be a factor that may trigger anxiety and low-self-esteem among them. The adolescents who experience either low-self-esteem or anxiety as a result of such platforms are at a higher risk of getting social isolated and may turn to social media platforms for immediate help. Social isolation highly contributes to the addition of complexities of identity development. In the 21st century, the use of social media literacy represents a burgeoning and emergent skill-set competency for the adolescents. Fortunately, for the purpose of curbing these drawbacks, the Social Media Literacy Program (SMLP) was introduced and specifically evaluated with the anticipation that the adolescents who participate in the program would exhibit a reduction in anxiety symptoms and an increase in their self-esteem (Vateralus, Patten and Roche 153). In addition, this program helps them in reducing potential negative mental health outcomes associated with anxiety and low self-esteem, and in turn enable the development of a solid identity which can actually transpire int young childhood.

However, the use of social media benefits the young adults and adolescents in various ways. Social media platforms offer the service of critical adolescent developmental tasks like peer development, identity development and also aspiration development. In this criterion, as the young adults pursue intimacy with their peers and strive for sovereignty, their online environment recurrently reflects their offline lives (O'keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 803). Moreover, different information in social media platforms reveals the association between the time spent using social media and the increased self-esteem, social capital, social support, safe identity investigation and more chances for self-disclosure. Recent research claims that adolescents use the social media platforms to essentially develop and maintain their relationships. Alternatively, the adolescents also report that social media use helps them understand their colleagues' feelings and ideas hence this makes them feel more connected to their peers These processes are critical for a healthy growth and identity development through peer support. The social media tools have been found to be beneficial for the young adults and adolescents who may experience learning difficulties and including the ones that struggle with their sexual identity.

Eventually, there are three major drawbacks in the use of social media to the adolescents and young adults. First, the act of cyberbullying and online aggravation. This is the act of using the social media platforms to communicate embarrassing or false information about another individual. Online aggravation is the harassment of an individual using online platforms. These actions can result in serious cases psychosocial consequences like suicide, depression, severe isolation and anxiety. The second demerit of social media use is the act of sexting. This is the act of sending, receiving or even forwarding of sexually explicit text messages or images. The adolescents and young adults who actually engage themselves in sexting have been threatened or charged with a serious felony on child pornography charges. This act has contributed to other serious consequences like school suspensions, depression with associated mental health conditions to the adolescent victims (Vateralus, Patten and Roche 156).

The last demerit includes Facebook depression. This is the depression that usually develops when the adolescents and young adults spend a great time on Facebook and begin to exhibit a classic symptom of depression. The intensity of the online world is thought to be an actual factor that triggers depression in some of the adolescent victims (O'keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 802). The consequences of using social media lead to the option of turning to the risky internet sites that may promote unsafe sexual practices, substance abuse, and even self-destructive activities.

In conclusion, the adolescent and young adult should take advantage of social media and research on educational information when intent on forming interactive relationships. Equally, the outcomes of the social media information can offer awareness to adolescents working in the mental health areas. In essence, social media knowledge can both affect and be affected by young adults' use of social media platforms, as they occur simultaneously with their evolving identity, emerging sexuality, physical growth, and decency perception as discussed.


O'Keeffe, Gwen Schurgin and MD.Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. "Clinical Report- The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families." Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-804. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0054

Vateralus, J.Mitchel, et al. "#Gettinghealthy: The perceived influence of social media on young adults health behaviors." Computers in Human Behavior 45.January 2014 (2015): 151-157. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.013

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