Positive & Negative: The Effects of Social Media on Teens

Social media has become a prominent feature in our modern lives, especially those of teenagers. According to a survey by Pew Research Centre, 94% of teenagers use the internet for social networking every day.

Nowadays, even kids between the ages of ten and twelve have access to social media applications.

While there are many positive effects of using social media, there are as many dangers that come with the use of these sites, especially for younger children.

What Are the Positive Effects?

Communication: Social media platforms give teens access to free communication channels.

With built-in messaging apps and in-app calls, young people are able to reach their friends and family instantly for free.

Education: Students are able to contact their teachers using class group chats and receive immediate feedback. They can also get access to free online resources to help with their studies.

Being Informed: Information spreads faster online than any other media. Social media can help young people to gain more knowledge and engage in related discussions, as they have access to current news in real-time.

What Are the Negative Effects?

Cyberbullying: This is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic devices, usually through sending threatening messages to others or posting embarrassing information about people online.

It has been reported that almost 50% of teenagers have experienced cyberbullying. These harmful messages can cause emotional trauma, depression and even lead to suicide in extreme cases.

Lack of Privacy: Young people often share their personal information online with strangers, being unaware of the dangers.

Most people don’t set or adjust their privacy preferences and are unaware that their information can be seen by other people including potential online criminals or attackers.

Self-Esteem: Social media has made it easier for teenagers to compare themselves with others online. They compare their bodies and lifestyles and can conclude that other people’s lives are better, which may lead to low self-esteem.