Effects of Social Media on Teens

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In todays modern world, there has been a rise in the use of Social Media for socialization and interaction. Many of the users are the young people who have become dependent on them. Some of this Social media websites are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, gaming sites among many others. These communication sites have enabled teens to communicate with family, friends and even strangers. Although they ease communication, they have brought a lot of negative effects, especially on Teens.

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One of the common effects is depression caused by low self-esteem. OKeeffe (802) says that Facebook depression is the most frequent form of depression caused by Social media. It develops when a lot of time is spent by preteens or teens on Facebook and other social media sites like twitter. Facebook being the most common social internet addition attracts many teens. However, in a research, Ethan Kross says Throughout the day, from one moment to the other, the moods of people were fluctuating depending on their usage of Facebook". It was evident from the results of the research that the more time spent on Facebook the more the feelings of well-being decreased as those of depression increased. Teens always want to be in contact with their friends and family and also be accepted as it is essential in their adolescent lives. They then run to Facebook and other social media for such attention but these online social sites come with so much intensity they end up causing depression. The depression then lead them to turn to risky internet sites for help which may promote self-destructive behaviors.

Another major effect is Social isolation. Many teens are glued to their smart gadgets and have no time for real physical interactions. The contacts they create online by social networking are virtual. The profiles they even make in those sites are not even who they truly are. One teenager says its like creating a character in a play (Turkle 421). Presentation anxiety is what Turkle (378) calls it and it comes with a lot of exhaustion making people not alienated from friends and family but also from themselves. In general, despites connectivity promises, Social media actually deprive the teen off their physical time with families and friends making them lonelier and preventing intimacy that is true.

Finally, cyber bullying and sexual teens are other effects of Social media. Cyberbullying has been used to harass teens by communicating false, hostile or embarrassing information about them online. Today, it is the biggest risk that all teens are facing by being on Social media. Also, it is a peer-to-peer risk which can cause profound outcomes that are psychosocial including anxiety, depression and in a tragically, suicide. On the other hand, Strasburger et al say that the media is acting as a super peer (760) as they turn teens to sexual beings through their exposure to sexual material. They say that sex sells and that they are exercising their constitutional rights (Brown et al 6). They give a consistent message that sex is normal and free of risk. But, when teenagers are exposed to pornography, there is a tendency to want to experiment resulting in engaging in sexual intercourse and other sexual activities at a very young age. Therefore, longitudinal exposure to sexual content results in unplanned pregnancy and sexual harassment.

In conclusion, teens are negatively affected by social media. Therefore, it is essential that they control the use of such sites. The media, Parents, and the government should also help in the reduction of such effects.



Brown, Jane D, Jeanne R. Steele, and Kim Walsh-Childers. Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media's Influence on Adolescent Sexuality. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002. Internet resource. Read more

Cheng, Cecilia, and Angel Y. Li. "Internet Addiction Prevalence and Quality of (Real) Life: A Meta-Analysis of 31 Nations across Seven World Regions." Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 17.12 (2014): 755-760. Print.

Facebook Use Bad For Self-Esteem No Matter Why You Log On: News: University Herald." University Herald. N.P., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

O'Keeffe, G. S., and K. Clarke-Pearson. "The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families." PEDIATRICS 127.4 (2011): 800-804. Print.

Strasburger, V. C., A. B. Jordan, and E. Donnerstein. "Health Effects of Media on Children and Adolescents." PEDIATRICS 125.4 (2010): 756-767. Print.

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. , 2011. Print. Read more

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