The impact of social media on youth is an indispensable part of today’s society. Over 4.2 billion people use social media globally, with kids and teenagers being the primary demographic.
The communities at the vanguard of shaping the future of social networking sites are teens and children. Children and teens are the vast majority of people who use the internet.
As per Pew Research Center’s report, 95% of adolescents aged 13-18 have a smartphone, and 88% have access to a desktop or laptop. In a survey conducted in South Korea, over 52% of adolescent students said that they use social media almost every day.
It won’t be an exaggeration that social media has become a central part of the lives of youth. This rapid development in the social media landscape has presented many opportunities and challenges. It has transformed the way youth interact and deal with each other and their surroundings.
Understanding the Impact of Social Media in our Lives
According to a survey, about 50% of people use social media to stay connected with friends and family. Over 21% use it to follow celebrities and influencers, and 17.4% use it to connect with good causes.
It implies that social media has many diverse roles. From connecting with peers to growing your business, it helps you with everything. People also develop and foster communities over social media. There are many platforms for like-minded people (for example, writers or artists) to connect and share their work.
Companies leverage online marketing to sell their products and services to a large audience. Also, they gather valuable analytics and insights regarding their consumers. It has made social media marketing a basic strategy for boosting leads for advanced education and business programs.
Social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have provided a safe space for youngsters to express themselves.
For teenagers, the online realm may be adopted enthusiastically because it represents their space, visible to the peer group more than to adult surveillance.Sonia Livingstone, a professor in social states.
Also, they helped people remain connected during the covid-19 pandemic. Social media usage increased up to 63% in teens during this time.
On the downside, these very platforms have become the reason for suicides in some cases. As per research, social media and the mental health of teens link closely to each other. Let’s explore the impact of social media on youth particularly and society in general.
Positive Impact of Social Media
Here are some of the effectively positive ways in which social media is beneficial to young people:
1. It Helps to Educate the Young Generation
While chatting or counseling with kids and teens on a one-on-one basis is considered ideal. Social media can do the same much more effectively and to a broader audience all straight away. People entertainingly like to use YouTube to express their opinions on various subjects. In the process, they draw in millions of views and plunge into the top of search engines.
2. Social Media – an Effective Source of Connectivity
Undoubtedly, it is an unproblematic method to correlate with young people who are on the same wavelength. You are truly only a single click away from a mind-boggling number of such modern people. Notwithstanding location and religion, social networks are really constructive in restoring. Moreover, safeguarding relationships with other folks.
It has turned out a lot simpler for us to remain associated with representatives, family, and buddies. Indeed, many topmost organizations straightforwardly approach candidates through social networking sites like LinkedIn. We can also collaborate with authoritative people who may help us in our professions.
3. A Vital Module of the Business Tactic
Social media skills have since a long time ago quit being viewed as a niche. Rather, it influences the manner in which entire associations run and develop. It has turned into the essential method for business growth.
How it helps young live-wire people grow their business.
- Promotion on social media is inexpensive when contrasted with customary publicizing.
- It achieves all ages and socioeconomics.
- Its clients are dynamic, and it helps to prop up two-way communication.
- You can obviously share a great deal about your business on different social media platforms.
4. Social Media used for Good Deeds
Truly, social media can be utilized for various noble causes like social welfare activities. Furthermore, it includes the promotion of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). Not only this, but it also changes the living style of the young generation. It creates awareness and encourages people to find different innovations that assist them to improve their very own lives. Each person, from a peasant to an educator, can benefit from the awareness factor of social media.
5. Social Media helps Teens to Remove their Social Isolation
Feelings communicated online can surely influence young people’s moods because they have really been found very moody. Social media helps to alleviate boredom and social isolation as well as opens new communication pathways and offers genuinely much-needed support. It securely enables people to share their contemplations without divulging their identity. What’s more, it creates within people an improved aptitude for self-articulation with no dread whatsoever.
Negative Impact of Social Media on Youth
Regardless of social media benefits, there is a dark side that sometimes leads to heinous crimes. Like any technology, there are both positives and negatives of social media.
It is a very pathetic aspect of social media that has to be endured willy-nilly. Thus, It is advisable to know about the negative impact of social media to ensure its better and more productive use.
1. Lack of Privacy
The most common consequence of increased social media usage is the compromise on privacy. Most of the youth share their details on social media platforms. People put on everything from their schools to the gym they go to on social media.
While it may seem harmless at first glance, it can lead to serious problems. A majority of teens have to face some form of cyberbullying. Cybercrimes usually involve information stolen through social media.
2. Increase in Cybercrimes
Social media has become an easy tool for perpetrators to find and prey on their victims. Sexual harassment, stalking, bullying, and assaults have become too common on social media.
Along with the peace of mind, you can also lose money with social media crimes. Hacking and identity theft through social media can result in financial loss. Unauthorized sharing of your pictures or videos and copyright infringement are some other dark sides of the coin.
3. Social Media and Mental Health
While it offers a medium for connectivity, 70% of people feel left or excluded on social media. 43% of youngsters feel bad about themselves when their posts do not get likes or reactions.
Research suggests that social media triggers more sadness and less well-being among youth. Excessive and uncontrolled social media usage usually leads to low self-esteem, body image issues, depression, anxiety and unbalanced emotions. It also increases the chances of getting brain disorders.
4. Waste of Time
People especially teenagers are now constantly online. A new tweet or an Instagram post appears, and a person spends an hour scrolling through it. It has displaced many major healthy activities.
Youth have bad sleep hygiene now, using social media until five minutes before bed. 36% of people are reported to check their social media first thing in the morning. Also, studies and work both have been hit badly by social media.
Social media helps a great deal in keeping us in a loop with all the happenings. But, with all the information available online, it is difficult to find genuine one. Rumors and misinformation travel faster than light on social media.
Once something is viral on social media, it is not easy to counteract or rectify it. Some people can even distort facts to instill and propagate a narrative. Thus, it is good to verify before believing things you came across on social media.
Every coin has two sides, so has social media. It has several positive aspects, like open communication, freedom of speech, access to information. But there is an undeniable negative impact of social media on youth, especially. From wasting time to bad habits to poor mental health, it takes a toll on one’s mind and body.
The key is to find how, why, and when social media is beneficial and harmful for you. Find out the patterns that affect you negatively, and refrain from them. And, it will only benefit and as well, entertain you without harming you in any way!