The better part of humanity believes that social media and technology are in the air, being a big milestone in bringing power back to the people; with youths and teenagers being the biggest eager beavers. But it is good to think about the idea that the more we use social media thinking that we are connecting, the further away we actually are disconnecting from each other. Live statistics of current and new social media users will shock you. People spend an average of five hours a day on social media sites every day especially on Facebook and Twitter. With 1 out of 7 minutes being spent on Facebook. So how exactly has social media usage impacted our lives?
Social media, for, instance, has granted us the immediate effect of information. We are able to know what is going on around us which in many cases is always the basis of our conversations with others. To some extent, social media helps boost interpersonal relationships especially between people with the same interests. It gets better by creating real-world relationships.
With it becoming an inseparable and essential part of teenagers, Throw back Thursdays on social media is always a great way to interact with former classmates, colleagues, and childhood friends. Relationships are strengthened even if they finished school and moved to different locations. The spoiler comes in where one feels humiliated for not ‘making it in life’ where they see their former classmates more successful than them. This alienates the person and makes it hard for them to attend any reunions underway.
Getting in touch with new people and opportunities via LinkedIn as the leading site opens up room for career development and expansion. With proper and effective use of social media to campaign for and advertise one’s products, it becomes easier when interacting face-to-face with potential customers who have heard about the company online. Therefore boosting your social life with your customers. Many people express themselves through designing great profile page to reflect their personality which increases their chances to be identified by potential employers. Creating groups and pages on the basis of common discipline builds up connections and opportunities for their respective debatable careers updates. These discussions also go on at interpersonal levels.
Love to stun your kids? Well, a good pick up is informing them that some few years ago, phones were only used for conversations. Then they’ll probably ask you how you made it in life without the internet. Social media has officially embedded itself into the culture of the 21st century generation. Young children and teenagers have therefore become highly susceptible to what the media is points out for them to do and what’s it depicts to be ‘cool’. But what do parents have to do about the blame for bad behaviour and neglect they offer their kids claiming that they respect their children’s privacy? Parents claim that they do not want to interfere with their children’s lives and therefore deem any behaviour okay according to the kid’s minds. Spare the rod spoil the child, I wonder what more will be left if we make it to the 22nd century. We’ll probably give birth to kids and give them iPhones as birth presents. This therefore increases the generation gap between parents and the youth.
Google eliminated the essence of asking anything in our society as mostly perceived. We should probably give it the ‘best teacher’ title since we tend to listen to it better than our teachers. Besides using online tutorials and video clips which boost our knowledge and skills, teenagers and adults are misusing video sites such as you tube for other ‘personal gains’ which turn out to be hazards. Statistics have that 22 percent of 9-19 year old, daily and weekly users have accidentally ended up on a site with violent or gruesome pictures, and 9 percent on a site that is hostile or hateful to a group of people. Parents’ efforts towards tracking their children’s behaviour therefore becomes a losing battle.
Research also reveals that the 57 percent of 9 to 19 years old, have come into contact with online pornography. Crimes Against Children Research Centre at the University of New Hampshire interviewed 1,501 youth ages 10 to 17 years that frequently use the internet and found that the 19 percent of youth (77 percent were 14 years or older) have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the web; only 24 percent of teens told a parent about the solicitation (29 percent told a peer); and 75 percent of teens were not worried by the sexual online solicitation.
Teenagers start to worry about how they expose themselves to unwanted material, online victimization and the practice of dangerous online behaviours withholding anonymity. Extremes of solicitations get to guiltiness and awkwardness when around friends in fear that they may hate them if they discovered what transpires in their internet history.
Teenagers thus tend to be introverts and lose their self-esteem thinking they are underrated as compared to what they watch online. While 48% of youth use the Internet to improve their relationships with their friends, and 32% use to make new friends, both of these will reduce drastically with the level of social media addiction going around.
The goal of most social media sites is to increase connectivity amongst people socially. But it’s a waste since the truth of the matter is it has reduced real world communication between individuals, making us possess bad interpersonal relationship skills. You wouldn’t be surprised to find siblings in a sitting room or friends all seated busy with their gadgets yet there is always so much to talk about. This is the withdrawal effect facing not only small children but youths, getting to adults in some cases. Many prefer talking through social media as opposed to face to face conversations.
Being what we feed our minds with, many teenagers learn tricks of not only how to protect themselves from aggressive individuals, but also how to protect those around them. You’d argue that we don’t learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a book; but yes! Video games and action movies try in their capacity to brain storm kids with ideas on how to fight for their friends and themselves during violence. But the bad tooth is the fact that some teenagers turn out to be too violent or aggressive around their friends. A factor that makes them get harsh treatments and isolation from their friends.
It is true that social media gives us a chance to explore places and things we have never come across. Seeing our friends visit fancy places, buy classic cars and even seeing right via our humble brag post pictures of the cool places, celebrities and wonders we’ve experienced. But what exactly are we investing on when we expose all these to our minds? Feelings of jealousy, resentment and self-esteem issues crop up. Once you see a post, you probably thinking where you stand against the person; whether better or worse.
Many will argue that social media is a way of gaining popularity amongst your peers. Well, kudos if it works out for you! Celebrities are the best hit here. A common perception and pride among teenagers is that a large friend list equates one with popularity, extrovert and likeability perceptions. It’s no news to find out that people who are super active on social media sites are typical introverts. Interviewed youths say that social media has officially become their lifestyle by making their lives efficient and easier.
The best way to spread interesting news about a renowned person is through a simple post on social media platforms. Defaming people’s names seem to be a skill taught by social media sites. As much as these sites spread information on what is going on in people’s lives, they are the source of sowing discord amongst people and their fans. People have a tendency of believing that whatever is rumoured online has bits of truth associated with it. Where lies fil; the post, friends, relatives, acquaintances and treasured relationships break following misunderstandings boosted by mere posts; therefore ruining social relationships. Extreme instances witness high levels of aggression such as slapping upon meeting the concerned. Being defamed or shamed leads to social isolation where extremes range from emotional, physical, mental and psychological problems including depression and anxiety while amongst people.
Self-esteem is also affected in terms of religion, politics and personal areas of life where their online opinions are criticized, developing feelings of resentment against a particular religion, political party group or community based on resentment created through negative comments. Social interaction between these categories therefore become coerced where necessary. This is why many opt to be offensive anonymously which is viewed to be not only cowardly, but depicts lack of good character.
Seeking popularity by trending is a common take. The idea aims at getting likes and shares on a post, or challenge others to be a part, aiming to widely spread the message. Jumping on the trending bandwagon on the basis of a bad challenge is however one of the worst ideas. People ridicule and criticize oneself leaving low self-esteem preferences of loneliness on them. Another delusion falls on the models depicted on social media pages. They are used to advertise products in most cases. Many girls therefore suffer from inferiority complex and try to diet in efforts to lose weight as portrayed by the media to be fit. They therefore end up hurting themselves through tight eating habits and where the exercises do not seem to get any better, they identify with their perception of possessing unfit bodies; isolating themselves from people whom they think hate will treat them with cold shoulders.
It is not a matter of doing away with social media, but rather an issue of self-introspection on how the media impacts oneself in order to clear the air of social media negative impacts.