How Does Social Media Affect Youth

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Today’s youth has been immensely impacted by social media. From Snapchat to Skype, there are many ways for youth experience the world that awaits them. With the way most kids get so caught up in social media, it’s easy to say their futures can vary from prosperous- to dark and conflicted. Unfortunately, many kids today find themselves headed down the conflicted route. Social media can give people many great opportunities, make it easier to learn, and help people to connect and network with one another. However, without proper guidance, social media has many negative impacts on teenagers, which include: detrimental brain development, low self-esteem, negative reputation, and depleted intrapersonal skills. It is because of these problems, that the future of today’s youth is plummeting steadily.

Let’s begin with detrimental brain development, and the major role it can play in a child’s life. Social media can impact how a child or teen retains information and reacts to different scenarios. Adolescents or teens suffering from internet addiction could, over time, experience huge changes in their brain and have lower attention spans. Teens who suffer from other addictive behaviors are at a high risk of becoming addicted to social media and the internet as well as children who are genetically inclined to addiction (naturally high levels of endorphins). As kids become addicted to the internet, they try to multitask with other responsibilities, therefore, hindering their ability to focus on things such as homework and chores. This disability to focus can cause kids to make harmful, if not, fatal choices.

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Next, there is the huge negative effect that is low self-esteem. Today’s teenagers are exposed to pictures and videos that portray perfection. Social media sites like Instagram contain many images of ideal body-types that have been photoshopped and set ridiculously high standards for adolescent children whose bodies are going through rapid change. When children see these images, they begin to think that they should look the same way, and if they don’t, then they won’t be accepted. Many children get bullied because of the way they look, do, or say things. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram give children powerful platforms, and all they have to do is post one negative thing about someone for the entire world to see it. Peer pressure is the biggest catalyst for low self-esteem, and low self-esteem is believed as the biggest overall negative of social media.

Negative reputations stem from poor choices and behavior, and the most common way children develop negative reputations is through social media. All around the country, even the world, people are choosing to abuse their “freedom of speech. ” Whether it’s a light joke between friends or a hurtful comment, people love to speak their minds. What folks don’t realize is, children are reading these comments too, and think because an adult does it, its ok for them to repeat the same action. Kids are out and about on social media cursing, bullying, trolling, and even sending nudes because they think they can avoid trouble. Apps like Snapchat, have features where posts can disappear after twenty-four hours, which give children the idea that nobody will see it again. This is obviously not true, as everything on social media can be tracked and recorded.

Since the world has evolved and social media is the main form of communication, it is easy for children to forget how to speak to people. Intrapersonal skills or soft skills are vital for performing everyday tasks and getting into college or the workforce. Kids these days are always glued to their phones and don’t know how to hold simple conversations. Texting doesn’t require being face to face, which gives kids more time to reply. When it comes to ethics, there are social media do’s and don’ts, however, most kids don’t follow them, causing them to become rude and ill-mannered. Social media has gotten children to the point where they don’t even know how to look people in the eye when holding conversations anymore.

In conclusion, social media plays a major role in today’s kid’s lives and can have many different impacts on their futures. Social media affects children’s brain development, self-esteem, reputations, and intrapersonal skills, and can ultimately cause negative changes in their lives. Social media is negatively affecting our youth and will continue to negatively impact our youth until there is a change.


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