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How Social Media Influence Teenagers
Social networks have become one of the most controversial phenomena of our time. Doctors, psychologists, sociologists, and teachers worldwide do not stop arguing about their benefits and harms for the modern generation - and of course, there cannot be a single correct opinion.
People of all ages create social profiles and are quickly involved in life on the other side of the screen - however, there is one particular category of users who are particularly affected by social networks.
Yes, these are teenagers. And in this article, we will talk about how social networks affect the psyche, health, social life and conceit of this sensitive category.
Teens + Social Networks = ???
Why is it worth highlighting teenagers in a separate category of users of social networks? The reason is that adolescence is one of the most crisis periods of any person's life. The first significant crisis begins when the child reaches the age of three to four years, and the situation of adolescence is very similar to this period.
This is a time when young people protest the world and society, make their first attempts to find their place in life and become aware of themselves, begin to understand the imperfection, unpredictability and sometimes even cruelty of our world, and reject moral values.
Sounds complicated, right?
However, what happens when social networks take part in this process? Let's get it right.
More opportunities for communication and new knowledge
Initially, social networks were created as opportunities for communication between people who are far from each other. However, over time, they have evolved - and become a natural cultural and social phenomenon. Today, if you do not have a profile on social networks, that means you do not exist.
As for adolescents, of course, opportunities for online communication have remained available to them. Moreover, it is very convenient to use social networks for study - create common groups and chats, exchange literature, discuss student projects and share other helpful information.
For example, it's enough to send a link to the Topwritingreviews review website to help your classmates to find out that there are a lot of freelance academic writers who are able to help everyone with his or her homework.
However, this is only the tip of the iceberg - and unfortunately, the first and last positive factor in this matter.
If the influence of social networks on adolescents ended at this moment, then all the debates about their benefits or harms would not make sense. But in reality, the influence of social networks is much broader. Moreover, sometimes it can be dangerous and destructive.
More opportunities to brag and compare yourself to others
As we said, social networks are evolving - starting with online communication opportunities; they have gradually become ideal platforms for showing off.
Yes, that doesn't sound very nice - but it's true.
Do you know the secret to Instagram's success?
You are right; this secret lies in the ability to show off your achievements, acquisitions, travels, relationships, and beauty - and do it as revealingly and visually as possible. And yes, adolescents also like to put themselves on display - as they are at such a stage of development when they are most in need of recognition and acceptance from society and peers.
However, the ability to show off for recognition is almost synonymous with the ability to compare yourself with others and draw certain conclusions.
There can be two extremes - and both are bad.
- The first is "I'm super mega cool."
- The second is "I am a mega loser."
The first conclusion leads to the development of selfishness and too high self-esteem, the second to the result of depression and unwillingness to work on oneself in the future. Let's dwell on the latter in more detail.
An ideal place for depression development
Several years ago, scientists conducted research and found that social networks can be the cause of natural depression. And moreover, this applies to adults, whose psyche, self-opinion and outlook on life are already deeply rooted and have long been formed.
However, what happens when teens fall into this potentially depressing environment, where their peers seem beautiful, successful, sociable, fashionable and so on?
That's right; these are all real triggers for the development of low self-esteem, the need to constantly compare yourself with others, gain recognition and approval - and real depression as a consequence.
The thing is that the psyche of adolescents is a very sensitive substance, and any slightest fluctuation can harm the formation of a healthy personality.
And social networks greatly contribute to the formation of incorrect views on life and on oneself - because in most cases, they do not reflect the real picture of the world but are a great place for exaggeration and boasting.
Complex relationship hub
Now let's talk about an even more complex phenomenon - adolescent relationships in the context of social networks. And yes, this is again about a large number of reasons for the formation of misconceptions.
Can you determine who is friends with whom by tracing and analyzing likes, views, and comments?
But teenagers can. And in their picture of the world, a like or a heart-shaped emoticon in the comments can be tantamount to a declaration of love.
What is the result?
That's right, illusions and deceived expectations.
An example of illusions - He (she) put a comment under the photo of another girl (boy) - this means that he (she) likes him (her), but he (she) does not like me.
An example of deceived expectations - He (she) liked me on Facebook, and I decided that he (she) really likes me, but in real life, he (she) does not pay attention to me at all.
Do you know where these illusions and expectations lead, which most often have nothing to do with reality?
To the development of depression - and there is no other way.
The ability to show off is the root of the evil living in social networks. We have already said enough about this, but do you know what teens are capable of for the sake of being able to boast?
They will prove that they are very cool and bold. And yes, all the stupid things they do and shoot on video - riding on the roofs of trucks and trains, jumping out of cars on the go, crossing a busy highway in a stream of rushing cars, jumping on the roofs of high-rise buildings are done solely in order to prove their courage and determination.
Do we need to talk about the possible consequences of such games?
We will tell you even more - when adolescents, who, due to age, are very influenced by others, get into social networks where everyone is
"on equal footing",
this increases the likelihood of getting into a bad company online.
"Blue whale" and "Wake me up at 4.20" is just about that.
And here, too, there is no need to talk about the consequences - they are real. And lethal.
Scientists continue their debate, but at the moment, a universal instruction on how to protect your teenager from social networks does not exist. The only advice parents can get to try to maintain a trusting relationship with their children, hear them and try to understand - even if that sounds absurd.
About the authorMelissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.
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