Exploring the Positive and Negative Impacts of Social Media on Teens

Posted by evelynwilliams on May 21st, 2018

With loads of information being shared over the internet every day, social media has become one of the most integral parts of our lives. Since its advent, it has been touted as a platform for people to congregate online for social interaction, especially for teenagers who are in the forefront in shaping the future of social networking sites. The extensive exposure of media on the teens can have both positive and negative impacts on their behavior, outlook, and ideas. If used in ways that promote positive and productive ideas, young ones can be benefited. However, they can get lost in the dark alleys of social media if they allow it to take control over their lives.
 
Jotted down by our experts in media dissertation topics, this article highlights both positive and negative impacts of media on teenagers.
 
Positive Impacts:
 
1) It can help educate teens: These days, many educational shows stream on websites and mobile applications that can help teenagers gain knowledge. The abundance of information available on the internet can help them with their assignments, homework, and projects. Through different talk shows and educational YouTube videos, they can learn about various in-depth issues and develop and enhance vital skills and talents.
 
2) Develop awareness: Exposure to social media can help teens develop awareness about the society and the world which they can’t get through their coursebooks. This political and cultural awareness is crucial in grooming a generation of socially responsible citizens. With social networking sites talking about world happenings, young ones can understand that there is more to the world than just what is happening around them.
 
3) Enhance their social skills: Social media has allowed teenagers to interact more freely and easily. It gives them a chance to improve their social skills, which in turn helps them navigate successfully through modern society. The socially awkward teens can talk to different people online and expand their circle on social networking sites. They also learn to mold their character in order to be more confident and independent.
 
4) Improve creativity and innovation: When a teenager actively participates in the social media, he is exposed to different creative and innovative content. This inspires him to think out of the box and come up with unique ideas. The new applications and websites can also help him to express his creativity and individuality.
 
Negative Impacts:
 
1) Early sexual exposure: The internet is full of sexual content that leads teens to have a distorted idea of what sex is all about. This exposure triggers their interest in everything sexual and compels them to indulge in irresponsible sexual behavior, causing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, being sexually active at an early age makes them lose their focus towards their studies.
 
2) Distorted body image: The body image of teenagers is influenced to a great extent due to social media exposure. Those who are unrealistic ‘thin’ or ‘bulky,’ suffer anorexia and bulimia when they try to achieve perfect beauty standards. The body image ideas that media presents them with increases their desire for plastic surgery and body transformation.
 
3) Promotes violent and aggressive behavior: Seeing violent content often makes teenagers behave aggressively. Watching the scenes of gore every day makes violence normal for them and lessens their ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. It can even make them feel scared of their environment and less understand other people’s needs and feelings.
 
4) Poor academic performance: The excessive use of social media can lead to poor academic performance for many teens. Their involvement in mobile phones and computers can distract them from schoolwork and homework, crippling them academically. Many studies have found that students with less exposure to media score higher grades in exams.
 
Depending on how teenagers make use of it, the media can act as a powerful weapon or as a stepping stone. It is vital for parents to keep a check on their child’s involvement with social media so that he won’t turn out to be an obsessed, depressed, and disturbed individual.

Also See: Social Media, Negative Impacts, Social Networking, Networking Sites, Social, Media, Teens
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