The Development of Social Media and Its Effect on Today's Teenagers

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The Social Era

Adolescents, as well as adults, are constantly on their phones and becoming excessively absorbed into the variety of social media apps, games, and other technological entertainment they have. Checking instagram, twitter, or snapchat become a way to pass time. Posting about what’s happening in your life or things that you like become a habit. Thinking about what would be nice to post or what other people would like to see become subconscious. The development of social media and its quick, immense growth has both positive and negative effects on today’s society and people.

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For one, social media has unfortunately contributed to the increasing growth of laziness and procrastination. Instead of doing homework, work, or something productive, adolescents and adults go on their phones and look through their social media apps, as well as post their own things. Looking, liking, and reading others’ posts takes up time that passes very quickly when absorbed into these apps. Being so easily accessible, social media provides the opportunity to get off task and avoid work for a while. For the most part, it has more interesting things to look at or watch and is more entertaining than what productive activities and tasks have to offer.

However, there are also positive effects to social media, such as broadening your connections, as well as your social skills. Being able to communicate with others online gives you the ability to make connections that can help you in the present and the future. In most cases, “hiding” behind a screen allows a person to have more confidence and courage to say things they usually wouldn’t, and they have more time to think about what they have to say. These build your social skills even for face-to-face conversations by establishing a habit to think before you say things, which comes in handy when you are naturally a blunt person. These social skills come in handy in your everyday life.

This isn’t always the case though. Sometimes, people can talk online and hold conversations for hours, and usually, they are able to do that on the phone as well, but not in person. For some people, it’s easier to just talk to people face-to-face than to talk online, on the phone, or even through texts. In most cases, being able to hold conversations with other people online can build your social skills, both online and off.

Unfortunately, there is also a negative effect of “hiding” behind a screen as well: the ability to cyber bully. Some people, especially teenagers, go on social media websites and apps and post things that cause harm and affect others negatively. Cyber bullying can cause immense emotional harm that, if severe enough, could lead to self-harm as well as suicidal thoughts and actions. Not being face-to-face with people online causes some people to think that there aren’t consequences as severe as with cyber bullying as there is with physical and verbal bullying. The online bullies can become relentless and cause others to join in on the torment. They become confident enough to post anything that comes to mind, even if they realize it might be too cruel or false. All of these demeaning posts are public for others to see, and in most cases, no one does anything to stand up for the bullied online. Cyber bullying is seen more today than any other type of bullying.

An effect that is both positive and negative is the ability to share information easily with people. A big reason that people go on social media is to be able to keep up with other people’s lives without being there or talking to them directly about it and provide that opportunity for others. Doing this is convenient for family and friends, but sometimes, it also allows strangers to see everything as well. People should always be aware of strangers they talk to online. Sometimes, people meet new, genuinely good people that may become their best friends online. Other times, these online strangers could be predators or bad people that try to get close with people to fool and potentially cause harm to them. It’s extremely easy to lie and fabricate something online. If something seems off about someone you met and talk to online, you should trust that feeling and stop all contact with that person. Fortunately, these days you can make your social media accounts private and block people from seeing your posts and from contacting you.

Social media is constantly on peoples’ minds. Sometimes it’s because you’re thinking about what to post next or if this would be a good thing to post, and other times it’s because you’re thinking about something you saw or read on there. Without even thinking about it, people unlock their phones and open a social media app to entertain themselves. Teenagers are the ones that are mostly victimized by this. In class, at home, in the car, on the bus, at the movies; it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. Social media can become a big part of your life and disrupt your schedule.

In conclusion, the development of social media presents both positive and negative effects on today’s teenagers. It helps increase laziness, procrastination, social skills, and the ability to share information with others easily. It’s difficult to not become absorbed in social media due to its easy accessibility, as well as what it provides for people. Most people become a victim to the era of social media because of the excessive amount of technology that we are surrounded with today. Social media comes in handy but also corrupts people. Using it with caution and limiting yourself could be the solution to ending the negative effects and leaving positive ones.

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