Impact of Social Media on the youth
Social media refers to all applications and websites or blogs that enable people around the globe to interconnect via the internet, chat, and share content, video call among many other functionalities it offers to its users. For a person to be a member of any social media, he or she has to first signup and then sign in to access content and be able to share and chat with other users of that social media platform. Some of the common and widely used social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat many among others.
Over the past two decades, social media have gained so much growth and fame worldwide to an extent that many researchers are now interested in learning more about these social platforms and their effects on the community. Despite the fact that almost everyone in the community is connected to at least one social media platform, the youth and teenagers are the leading and most fanatic of these social platforms to the point that they even social network while in class or even church. It is to this light that researchers have found that these social sites impact the lives of our youth in a society a great deal in terms of morals, behavior and even education-wise.
The use of social media has both negative and positive impacts on our youths today. In this paper, I aim to bring to light the impacts of social media specifically to the youth of this generation. These impacts are both positive and negative.
The positive impacts of social media on the youth today include making them up date on the events happening around the globe and also enables them network and stay connected with their fellow youths and friends without physical meetings. It bridges the gap between friends since a person say in Africa can network and interact with his or her friend in the United States. This in turn helps in strengthening relationships say amongst classmates in high school or college, who after finishing school, moved to different locations around the world. Additionally, youths can create pages and groups in the social media platforms based on their professions, faith among other dimensions of their lives and this leads to more connections being built and more opportunities being opened for their respective disciplines. This can even lead to more employment opportunities being created for the unemployed youths. From the many interviews carried daily, youths say that social media platforms make their lives enjoyable, efficient and easier and has also become their lifestyle.
Even though social media sites seem to connect more people and make them stay up to date, it leads to isolation socially according to a BBC News report. It reduces the number of face-to-face interactions amongst the youths because they normally spend most of their time on these online social platforms. An evaluation from a number of studies done by various scientists show that social isolation can cause a number of effects such as physical, emotional, mental and psychological issues in these youths. This can in turn lead to depression, anxiety and many other problems. It also leads to misspelling of words and misuse of words and tenses through the use of short forms and abbreviations. This has a high negative impact more so on students because it affects their language capabilities directly and this lead to poor grades in languages.
Also, it exposes young teens say below eighteen years to online predators who get to woo them into sexual acts such as lesbianism and other general sexual misconducts. It also exposes these teens to pornographic content being spread in some the social groups online. This in turn leads to early pregnancies amongst young girls causing them to drop out of school. It also can lead to contraction of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and this can lead to early deaths of our young generation. The morals of these teens is also tampered with as they now get access to immoral literature and videos.
Spending long hours chatting in social media sites also decreases productivity amongst the youths. This in turn causes the youths not to be self-dependent and instead depend on their parents and families for upkeep. The long hours wasted online on social media can be channeled to productive activities that can enable one earn a living or even acquire an education for instance through online tutorials and make good use of online research materials.
Social media also provides a good platform where cyber theft and bullying is done and this increases the chances and incidences of identity theft. This has a number of risks to the youths as their personal information can get stolen since it is stored in some locations they do not know about or whose security is in not known or is questionable.
Social platforms also encourage the spread of wrong information and news majorly aimed at tainting other peoples’ names or other groups of interest such as political or religious groups. This in turn leads to fights and enmity between the concerned parties and this can lead to divisions amongst tribes or people from different ethnicities and tribes.
It can also lead one to join groups of cults and illuminati people, which in turn can also lead to frequent killings of people in society especially loved ones as a sacrifice to these cults.
In conclusion, social networking has been proved to have both positive and negative effects on our youths. Individuals should make a conclusion whether to go on using the sites or stop or even moderate on their usage. Parents should guide and advise their children on current matters like the usage of social media and warn them of its negative impacts to them when misused or overused. The education curriculum also should be revised so that it can include social media studies in its disciplines so as to alert students that they need to be careful in their social media usage.
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- James Mageto (Autor), 2017, Impact of Social Media on the Youth, Múnich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/358350