Teens and Social Media

   Social media is both a gift and a curse for the teens of this generation. It provides fun and entertainment while simultaneously distracting teens from more productive activities. Because of this, social media has both beneficial and unhealthy effects on young people. 

   Ever since the coronavirus infected the world, most activities have gradually shut down, including in-person school. Now that students have very few opportunities to interact with their friends and loved ones, they rely on social media and texting in order to engage with their peers and friends. Apps like TikTok and Instagram implement fun and entertaining videos and pictures, acting as a distraction from stress and daily work. Social media also allows teens to remain informed on current events regarding topics such as the election, protests, and other political news. 

   There are also accounts on apps like TikTok, entirely dedicated to informing people about certain topics. Stores, celebrities, and other influential people create TikTok accounts to increase their fame. Certain apps not only share the news and opinions, but also add humor, which is especially helpful during the stress of online school. School consumes a large portion of our day, and taking a break once in a while provides momentary relief and bliss. A funny joke or comment acting as a temporary relief against a torrent of assignments and stress is very crucial for students today. Without it, school would be harder to endure.

   While social media is helpful and fun for teens, it also poses myriad negative effects as well. Social media has a tendency to portray what society considers to be the “perfect” body for both men and women. People begin to feel self-conscious and wish to mirror that “perfect” image. But companies don’t like to look beyond the screen and into the lives of whoever they’re affecting, and they spread the idea that there is only one type of beautiful person. Additionally, people can post whatever they want on social media. Friends can post images and videos of gatherings, leaving other people feeling left out. Rifts in year-long relationships and friendships can be made because of social media. Cyberbullying is also a constant issue with most social media platforms. There is nothing restraining someone from leaving hate comments on posts. Thirty years ago, when social media didn’t exist, teen lives were very different. Parents used to drag their kids back inside after a day at the park, but now parents drag their kids away from the phone to go outside and enjoy a day at the park. Social media may be fun and entertaining, but it consumes teens’ days, becoming a top priority for teens. 

   With the coronavirus eliminating any other activities, teens are becoming more and more reliant on social media as a way to stay connected with the outside world. Hopefully, people see the effect social media has on teens and begin to work towards making it a more inclusive and kind environment for everyone.