Digital Life of Teenagers – Pros and Cons of Social Media
When we discuss the use of social media, we can see an increasing number of teenagers using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. These social media sites have already made a significant place in the lives of teenagers. They wake up with the notifications, they sleep at night carrying mobile phones in their hands, and so the addiction carries on. And, this addiction can have worse effects on the mental health of kids.
In today’s world, whoever shuns social media is considered to be outdated and teens don’t want that for themselves. They want to fit in society and for that, they are using social media as much as they can. In a study, it was estimated that on average people checked their phones 85 times per day and they spend almost 5 and a half hours on social media daily. However, when it comes to its use, there are pros and cons of social media that every user should be aware of. And, in the case of teenagers, the parents must also know where their kids are headed.
Pros and Cons of Social Media
Everything has good and bad aspects. Social media is also good if it is used smartly, otherwise, it can be as dangerous as any other health disorder. So here is a clear picture of how social media can be good or bad.
Some of the positive effects of social media for a teenager:
· It Keeps Them Informed
They might not be interested in watching TV and news with you, but they still get a lot of knowledge from social media. They get to know what is going on around them in neighborhood, state, country, or worldwide because everything is there on social media. This information can be quite useful for them as they stay updated.
· Boosts Self-esteem
It gives them the platform where they can express themselves freely knowing no one is in front of them judging them. It gives them the autonomy to share their thoughts no matter how bold they are. If they get confidence online, they might be transferred to their physical life when they pursue their passion.
· Help Teens with Disabilities
Teens with disabilities don’t really get a chance to interact with others in their social life. However, social media is an opportunity for everyone, so it gives them the platform to be with everyone else. They can also interact with others, share their issues, and be a part of the social community as they like. This makes them realize that they are not different at all.
· Easier to Study
Social media is also acting as a tool for studying for kids. They are using social media to ask questions about the things they are unable to solve. They are making forums and groups to help each other even if they are far from each other. Students also post research work to educate other students on the same topic.
Negative effects of Social Media on Teenagers
One of the most negative influences of social media is cyberbullying. People have taken advantage of the autonomy to share anything on the platforms to taunt and humiliate the kids. It has become easy for people to humiliate each other through the use of inappropriate posts and photos, and because of its intensity, it can cause long-lasting pain.
· Decrease in Productivity level
Teenagers are becoming too much addictive and engaged in the use of social media. They often start neglecting their student life, their regular chores, and other activities, that leads to poor productivity level. Kids even start failing in school due to the excessive use of social media.
· Destroy Social Skills
Due to the increased activity in the virtual world of social media, it has affected the interpersonal skills of the kids when they are face-to-face with other people. Kids who are quite outspoken on social media are seen as very shy in real life. Knowing how to understand gestures and what to express becomes quite difficult for them.
· Disclosing Too Much Information
One of the most common practices on social media is sharing private information. Kids are indulged in such conversations where they are encouraged to share personal information about themselves and their families which can be used against them later. It is easy for adult predators to get kids to share information that can be proven dangerous in the future.
· Failed Relationships
Relationships are very common on social media sites. Kids are very much excited about the new things they get to know on social media. They are interested in making relationships and it keeps them all excited. However, these relationships often make them do things that they will regret later. For instance, they might get involved in sexting where they send nude pictures and videos to each other which can be later used for revenge purposes.
With such pros and cons of social media, parents are worried about what they should be doing to protect their kids and teach them about the safe use of social media.
Note for Parents
Parents need to make a healthy atmosphere at home where the kids are encouraged to share everything that they want to. They must talk to their parents when anything goes wrong to make sure they are guided well. It is only possible when parents don’t criticize their kids and be judgmental with them.
Also, parents can use the parental control app to make sure they know what their kids are doing these days on social media. They can know their social media activities, monitor their messages and call logs, and much more through the use of a good parental control app like SecureTeen. However, it must be used to guide the kids about the smart use of social media and not to suffocate them at all. They must know that whatever you do, you do that to make them safe.