How does social media affect adolescents?

Nowadays, social media takes up such a large portion of our day to day lives. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly checking snapchat, Instagram, twitter, etc.

There have been thousands of studies that claim social media to be unhealthy and urge parents to limit their children’s usage, but in reality have they thought about how the kids feel? Adolescents are always on their phones, and computers, but truth is that it’s all we know. Student, Ryan Cook, believes that, “Social media can be distracting, especially at school.”

It may be hard for parents to understand the way our generation interacts on the internet and the content we put out there, considering our parents grew up in such a different time. Although, it is apart of this “new culture” we have adapted to. The technology and social media itself has grown significantly since our parents’ time. In fact, they didn’t even have it.

We have grown with social media and technology. It’s one of the only things we know all about, and is a key way of how us adolescents communicate. In both positive and negative ways. It allows many to experience and see cool things that spark creativity in young kids. For many, social media drives them, and inspires them. It is a platform that allows people to be recognized for what they put out there.

A sophomore student, Lili Noah, said, “I believe social media is such an important part in our generations everyday life. It's a way we are able to express ourselves and show people who don't know us who we really are. Social media is also a negative when it comes to cyber bullying, etc.”

Parents can barely navigate their way through Facebook, but adolescents on the other hand, can tweet in their sleep. This generation has the ability and access to social media platforms and many parents don’t like that.

When a parent gives their child permission to be an active social media user, they are putting a lot of faith in them, hoping their child will use it responsibly, and steer clear of unsafe accounts, or inappropriate content. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. So many people post rude or inappropriate things that adolescents can’t help but see this while refreshing their feed.

Student, Maya Salzman, said “I honestly think social media is pointless sometimes.” Adolescents may put things into the world that may be inappropriate, and offensive, that once are out there, cannot be permanently taken down.

When scrolling through Instagram and twitter, almost half the comments or tweets you see are negative. Social media is filled with what many call “trolls” who harass people and leave pages filled with rude comments.

These trolls have a significant effect on young kids, who are very impressionable. Anything they see on the internet affects them in some way. Whether they ignore the hate, or become a “hater” is what really matters.

Social media is a platform where many of us can express ourselves. At times, the platform provided may not always be a good thing. Despite the negative aspects of social media, it’s great and should be a positive place. There are so many people on it, of all different ages, and we should be considerate of the fact that anything they see will affect them.

Mackenzie Jones