Social Media today is a colossal wealth for teenagers, and its effect on their lives depends on how well they use it. YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. One instance of how the technological environment for young people has changed is evident from the increased engagement of teenagers on social media.
In parallel, it is important to understand why teenagers use social media so much. Teenagers these days are constantly online and completely indulged in the virtual world while oblivious and unaware of their unexplored life. While social media and its influence on teenagers is primarily considered to be negative, it might be helpful to notice how positive it can be for them, if used correctly. Let us learn more about social media and how it affects teenager’s life.
Why do teenagers use social media?
Social media is a collective term for websites and applications and a means or source for teenagers to interact with each other. Gone are the days, when kids or teens would hang around by their houses or in a park to meet and have a fun time. Now, social media has become the source of it all. In the contemporary world, social media is a tool that focuses on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.
Popular social media apps among teenagers include Instagram, Messenger or Messenger Kids, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, WhatsApp and YouTube.
Teenagers are increasingly using social media, and the following are the key drivers of this trend:
- Interacting with friends
- Participating in group discussions, learning about current affairs, and keeping up with information available on the internet
- Meeting new people
- Feeling like they might miss out if they aren’t always up to date with social media
What are the advantages of Social Media?
For teenagers, social media plays a significant role in their creative and social lives. Social media is commonly used by teenagers to have fun, form and maintain connections, share and discover hobbies, explore identities, and grow closer to family. Their in-person and offline interactions are expanded upon by it. It frequently plays a significant role in how older teenagers engage with friends. Through the power of social media, teenagers can join online global communities based on common interests. These could be support groups, such as those for children from certain ethnic backgrounds, LGBTIQ+ teenagers, or young people with disabilities or medical concerns. Or there might be websites where people can discuss and share content related to niche interests like gaming, TV shows, music, or hobbies.
Numerous other advantages of social media use for teenagers include:
Learning: Whether informally or formally in a classroom context, teens can use social media to better understand, extend, or share what they are learning at school.
Hobbies and interests: Using social media, teens can explore their current interests and discover new ones.
Creativity: Teenagers can use their imagination to modify games, videos, and profile pages.
Mental health and wellbeing: With social media, teenagers can connect with anyone around the world in an instant, and can seek help and support on the global level. While they look for the positive things on social media they start to resonate positively with life and everything around them.
What are the disadvantages associated with social media?
Social media may be dangerous. These dangers for teenagers include:
- Being exposed to offensive or upsetting content, such as mean, aggressive, violent, or sexual comments or images
- Uploading offensive content, such as offensive or provocative pictures or videos of themselves or others
- Sharing personal information with strangers, such as pictures, dates of birth, locations, or addresses
- Being overexposed to targeted marketing and advertising
- Being subjected to data breaches like when their information is sold to other organizations
How can teenagers manage the risks involved with the use of social media?
Be Cautious about Sharing too much on Social Media
Teenagers should limit what they share on social media sites. They should never disclose their home address, phone number, or date of birth for reasons of personal safety because doing so could put them in great danger of identity theft and fraud.
Find out more about Social Media
It’s a good idea to stay updated with social media because the apps and capabilities are always evolving. Find out which platforms are most used and preferred by teenagers these days. You can also seek help on the internet for how some platforms may work for you in the most secure manner.
Check and Recheck your Passwords
We all have way too many passwords, but you should make sure that each one is unique and as obscure as you can make it. A strong password should include a symbol, a few capital letters, and some numbers. Keep a password that only you know and nobody else even your best friends.
Select email notifications for every sign-in. Regularly check which third-party applications have automatic access to your social media accounts. Deauthorize the ones you’re not using anymore.
Check Community Guidelines on Social Media
For more information, check the community guidelines on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Overall, social media need not be frightening. Instilling basic digital manners and maintaining an open discourse about online safety can go a long way in keeping teenagers safe online. Depending on who uses it and for what purposes, social media can be both advantageous and disadvantageous for teenagers. It is important to understand the repercussions of improper use of social media. A teenager will experience the positive side of using social media through a safe and secure method.
About the Author
The Emissary is also a global mass media platform where teens can connect and learn alongside other teens with similar interests. The Emissary comprehends and is also keen on discussing issues concerning youth. The Emissary stands to provide a space for teenagers with a global facet to every aspect, enriching them with the imperative exposure that leads to highly beneficial experiences.