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Home Article Influence of Social media on Youths - Oluwafeyisayo Apata

Influence of Social media on Youths – Oluwafeyisayo Apata

During the days of our forefathers, there was nothing like social media but in this Present day, Technology has made it possible for Social media content to circulate quickly. Teenagers are not addicted to social media for communication.

Social Media is a platform that allows social interaction; it has played different roles in the youths daily activities. Such as communication, being updated with information and news, learning and so on. Social Media is one of the fastest means of communication in the media industry till date.

Social Media is a two way communication that gives users ability to send or receive and also give feedback unlike other Media sectors like Broadcasting, Radio and Television or Newsprints Medias where only the dissemination of information is constant but no feedback because it’s a one way communication. Social Media also follows communication elements:

  • The Sender
  • The channel
  • The Message
  • The Receiver
  • Feedback

THE SENDER: The person who intends to convey the message with the intention of passing information and ideas to others is known as sender or communicator.

THE CHANNEL: The person who is interested in communicating has to choose the channel for sending the required information, ideas etc. This information is transmitted to the receiver through certain channels which may be either formal or informal.

THE MESSAGE/IDEAS: This is the subject matter of the communication. This may be an opinion, attitude, feelings, views, orders, or suggestions.

THE RECEIVER: Receiver is the person who receives the message or for whom the message is meant for. It is the receiver who tries to understand the message in the best possible manner in achieving the desired objectives.

FEEDBACK: Feedback is the process of ensuring that the receiver has received the message and understood in the same sense as sender meant it.

Social Media has influenced the youths positively and negatively

POSITIVE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA INCLUED:

Talking from an optimistic point of view. These are some of the positive influence of social media on the youth.

1) Education:

Studying from sites like Google, YouTube, and Quora is “The Place” to gain knowledge.

Students can easily collaborate with their teachers via this platform at any hour of the day and solve their problems.

Not in my college but programs like “Study from home” are arranged for educational purposes in many major educational institutes.

Not only can you gain knowledge but you can share opinions/knowledge on sites like Quora. Because “Knowledge increase by sharing not by saving”-Lyrikal

Programs like Khan Academy have developed the state of education system via Social media.

This one is my personal favorite; one can share assignments, project ideas, etc. via mail, WhatsApp, etc.

Hence, one can get more educated than ever if they wish to.

2) Relationships:

“Social media puts the ‘Public’ in Public relation and ‘Market’ in the Marketing”

The positive upside of entrepreneurship and startups have baffled today’s youth. In the world where many of youngsters including me want to be a “Startup founder”, building relationships is the first priority for success. And social media helps to build those relationships like;

Engaging with the audience.

Providing value via constant posts and answers.

Using hash tags to find potential customers and build relations.

Influence of social media on youth in relationships

For personal users rather than business,

Want to talk to mother face to face *Opens Skype*

Want to chat with Gf/Bf *Opens WhatsApp*

Making unknown people friends via social media is also an upside.

3) Job opportunities:

“Not everyone wants to be a business owner”

With heavy use of social media by the youth, recruiters recruit many candidates via social media:

Employers find their employee and Employee to find their employers via Social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

Sites like naukri.com avails enormous amount of Job opportunities for today’s youth. Or sites like freelancer.com help you pay your bills by freelancing.

4) Always in touch with the world:

Believe it or not, though social media seems to disconnect people from the surrounding. It connects people to the world.

World news reaches in seconds after incidents via social media with the speed of light.

Live streaming of events via Facebook Live or Instagram Live connects the people all around the world.

Important people who can’t afford to come to a small ceremony due to some reason can see these ceremonies via social media.

5) Influences to exercise:

First of all, this part can be considered from both perspectives: Positive and Negative. In a world where looking cool in pictures and selfies on social media has more importance than being a genuine person, people tend to make their body look cool. To make a body look cool people workout, join Gyms, engage in physical activities, etc.

Hence, Influence of social media on youth not only affects the mind but also help them build a physical structure.

6) Social media as e-commerce:

“Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it and spend it rather than invest it.” – Jim Rohn

Similar to influence for the workout, Influence of social media as e-commerce can be divided into both perspectives. Consequently, Talking from an optimistic point of view influence of social media as e-commerce can be, People can buy things while riding back home from offices rather than spending 2-3 hours in the market.

Specifically, in the generation of youths where “Time is the most valuable asset” e-commerce sites like Amazon helps youth to innovate and invent providing time.

More choices of books, electronics, and other stuff is a plus point. for example, If I don’t get a book from the nearby bookstore, Amazon will have it.

NEGATIVE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA INCLUDE

The Youths and Teenagers brain has confounded parents for generations. Nowadays, with the lives of most Youths and teenagers so heavily enmeshed in social media, it’s even harder for parents to know what’s truly going on behind the screens.

Social media can give voice to the voiceless, accelerate and aid learning, and help people to feel supported and uplifted. Yet social media can also have a range of negative effects on youths, which include:

  1. Brain Development:

Social media can play a major role in a Teenager’s environment and subsequently affect their developing brain by impacting how it processes information, reacts to situations, and remembers events. Current research indicates that a child’s brain development is shaped by social media use and exposure in the following ways: Adolescents suffering from internet addiction may, over time, experience structural changes in their brain and have lower grey matter. Teens who suffer from other addictive tendencies (i.e. substance dependency) may, therefore, be predisposed to becoming addicted to social media and the internet

The multitasking commonly associated with social media can cause adolescent children to take longer to accomplish tasks, which can also hinder the quality of their homework or studies

  1. Privacy & Reputation:

Even when social media users have their accounts set to private (which only allows people that they are networked with to view their content) privacy on social media is virtually non-existent. Any content posted in a social space can be easily re-posted and subsequently viewed by third parties.

Social media lacks proper privacy, which leads to problems for young users ranging from image-based abuse to not getting accepted for a job or University program.

  1. Body Image & Self-Esteem

Today’s Youths are exposed to images and statuses that portray perfection. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram have a tendency to showcase idealized body-types through images that have been cosmetically altered, and therefore set unrealistic and unattainable beauty standards for adolescent children whose bodies are undergoing uncontrollable change.

Photos of models with flawless complexions can make teens feel all the more insecure about having hormonal skin, and overtly sexualized

Representations of young-adult females in mainstream media can be hugely conflicting for teenage girls who, until recently, were only just children.

Research shows that ongoing exposure to unrealistic beauty standards through social media can affect how teenagers perceive their own bodies. These perceptions can negatively affect a teenager’s physical and mental health.

  1. Sexual Behavior

One of the negative effects of social media on teens is that sexually suggestive or explicit content is prevalent throughout numerous social networking sites. Exposure to sexual content that portrays unrealistic or harmful sexual behaviors and stereotypes can negatively influence teenagers who are only just beginning to develop their sexual identities. This can result in them having unreasonable expectations of sexual norms, experiencing difficulty in forming healthy sexual relationships or developing risky sexual behaviors.

  1. Sleep

Using social media can greatly disrupt sleep patterns by compelling teens to stay up late or wake throughout the night to check notifications. The blue light from mobile phone screens can also confuse sleep cycles. Research indicates that teenagers require 8-10 hours of sleep and that not getting enough sleep can affect their health in the following ways:

  • Difficulty learning and concentrating
  • Feeling stressed or anxious
  • Becoming irritable
  • Health issues such as acne and viral illnesses
  • Unhealthy eating and weight gain
  1. Social Skills

Developing social skills helps Youths to establish and maintain friendships. Due to the fact that Youths and Teenagers spend a lot of time interacting over social media sites and apps, many of them are establishing social interaction skills that don’t necessarily apply to the offline world. While, of course, social media can help to nurture and strengthen existing relationships, it’s integral that teenagers also learn how to have meaningful, face to face exchanges with people.

Being socially isolated is a major risk factor for both depression and suicide. With adolescents now spending more time online and less time interacting with people in the real world, they risk not only struggling to develop effective social skills but also predisposing themselves to mental health problems.

  1. Mental Health Problems

Research indicates that teenagers who spend more than 2 hours a day on social media are more likely to experience mental health problems such as psychological distress. Teenage girls are particularly susceptible to peer pressure and are therefore at risk of having negative online experiences that can impact their development and lead to anxiety disorders and depression.

So, are parents right to be worried about the negative effects of social media on teens? Or are these concerns merely a sign of a generational-gap?

The answer is, rather aptly, it’s complicated. While, historically, new technologies have always sparked fearful commentary (the invention of the train had people genuinely convinced that travelling at speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour would kill them) which has seemed laughable in hindsight, many of the fears surrounding social media are justified. However, it’s not necessarily the medium in itself that is a threat to our teens. Social media is a tool and (as with any tool) in the hands of people it can either be used or misused. So while we struggle to understand the negative effects that social media can have on Youths and teenagers, we need to remember that the dark side of social media is often little more than a manifestation of the dark side of humanity; a darkness that has always been there but – through its presence on social media – is now more visible than ever.

Therefore, the best way to minimize the negative effects of social media on teens is to provide them with a strong moral compass and guide them in creating solutions that help them safely navigate user-driven environments.

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