Influence of Social Media on Decision-Making of Christian Teenagers

Academic Paper, 2021

16 Pages



Funkeu.. see how beautiful you are; if I were close en, I would have been the one dating you. seriously you are beautiful. in fact, I will snatch you from your boyfriend.” this was a conversation between two teenagers on a WhatsApp voice message. The boy already thought about dating a girl he knew nothing about, and this is common among noticeable numbers of teenagers today, Christian teenagers inclusive. Society today is experiencing great changes, and these changes are having a great influence on the younger generation and on the decision they make on a daily basis. One of the sources of these changes is the social media platform which has since its inception capture the attention of teenagers and youths but with higher percentages among teenagers. Conger (2012, xvi) observes that all of the changes in society have influenced the decisions of younger ones and the changes are obvious in many spheres of things happening in the society, such as the patterns of drug use, alienation, psychological problems, and delinquency among others. All of these have, in a way or the other, affected the teenager's development and the challenges he or she faces in the quest for a stable, workable sense of identity.

Therefore, this paper is borne out of the researcher's interest in helping persons, especially Christian teenagers' to make the right decisions in life. The paper set out to discuss the influence of social media on the decision making of Christian teenagers. The objectives are to find out how long Christian teenagers stay on social media platforms, assess the extent to which teenagers' decisions are influenced by social media, and suggest good ways of maximizing the social media platforms. The researcher made a random sampling of Christian teenagers in secondary schools and tertiary institutions and also consulted books and relevant materials to gather the data used for this paper. Throughout this paper, adolescents and teenagers are used interchangeably.

By way of definition, Christian teenagers throughout this paper are individuals between the age of thirteen to nineteen (13-19), and this includes both sexes (male and female). Also, social media platforms in the context of this paper refer to all activities on the internet with special reference to Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Also, decision making covers any possible decision a Christian teenager is likely to make.

Concept of Teenagers

Teenagers' are not easily defined. Several authors have carefully described them, while only a few have attempted to give definitions. Below are some definitions and descriptions of youths and adolescence. Etymologically, the word ‘adolescence' is gotten from the Latin verb ‘adolescere', which means to grow or to grow to maturity Garvice and Murphree (1969, xii). Garvice and Murphree (1969, xi) posit that “adolescence cannot be defined in physical terms or purely cultural terms. In adolescence, the child experiences a series of events, some of which are initiated by his own body, some initiated by the people who surround him, and some initiated by his own self. Youths can be clearly defined by their characteristics.” Santrock (2013, 16) defines “adolescence as a period of transitions between childhood to adulthood that involves biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional changes.” Similarly, Garvice and Murphree (1969, xii), quoting Adatto, described adolescence as that stage of development that begins about twelve and ends somewhere between eighteen and twenty- four years of age, depending on how long the characteristics of adolescence personality remain in force.” This definition could explain why some individuals still behave childishly even at twenty-five or twenty-six when it is expected that they have outgrown the adolescent stage.

Also, while quoting Ezell, Garvice and Murphree (1969, xii) say adolescence is the period of human growth and development during which most, perhaps all, aspects of mind, emotion and body become active and functional. In this period, there occurs the greatest development of individuality, personality, sexual maturity, and release from parental control.” The author here defines according to his context. In the African context, it is believed that a child never outgrows parental discipline. Roswell and Herbert (1976, 3), in their own view, opines that the adolescence stage is “the period of life when one is in the process of becoming an adult.”

Zuckerman (1976, 1), in his own view, describes adolescence as “the period of development in human beings when the individual feels what adult privileges are due him which are not accorded him and that ends when the full power and social status of the adult are accorded to the individual by his society.” Zuck and Benson (1984, 14-15) describe adolescence as “a period during which a young person learns who he is, and what he really feels. It is the time during which he differentiates himself from his culture, though on the culture's terms. It is the stage at which, by becoming a person in his own right, he becomes capable of deeply felt relationship to other individuals perceived elderly as such”. Hence, it is usually a turbulent period for those in this category, and it further calls for help for them by well-meaning individuals.

Some Characteristics of the Teenage Years

The teenage years are a landmark for every individual to cross as they grow through the stages of development. It is a period of identity formation, and usually, teenagers often seek the opinion of others about them. Mangal (2013, 109), quoting Erickson (1950), says the adolescent, emerging from the search for and the insistence on identity is eager and willing to fuse his identity with that of others. He is ready for intimacy, that is, the capacity to commit himself to concrete affiliations and partnerships and to develop the ethical strength to abide by such commitments even though they may call for significant sacrifices and compromises.


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Influence of Social Media on Decision-Making of Christian Teenagers
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influence, social, media, decision, christian, teenagers
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Adeola Faniyi (Author), 2021, Influence of Social Media on Decision-Making of Christian Teenagers, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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