Social Network Impact on Youth
Online social media have gained astounding worldwide growth and popularity which has led to attracting attention from variety of researchers globally. Although with time all generations have come to embrace the changes social network has brought about, teenagers and young adults are the most fanatic users of these sites. According to various research studies in the field of online social networks, it has been revealed that these sites are impacting the lives of the youth greatly. When using these sites such as Twitter, Facebook or MySpace, there are both positive and negative effects on the youth.
It is inevitable to ignore the fact that nowadays social network plays an essential role in teenagers’ lives. Most youths are spending at least an hour in these popular social media sites. Generally, 1 out of 7 minutes which are spent online by most of those who can access internet is spent on Facebook according to Shea Bennett. One may ask how spending all that time on the social media sites may have a positive impact on them. Well, social media helps the youth and any other user updated with what is happening around the world, help the teenagers stay connected and interact with each other even if they are many miles apart. This strengthens their relationship even if they finished school and moved to different locations they stay connected and update one another.
In addition, social media sites have provided a platform whereby the youth can create groups and pages based on their common discipline and end up building connections and opportunities for their respective careers by updating various topics to discuss. Youth who have been interviewed they say that social media has become their lifestyle and it makes their lives easier and efficient.
While on one hand social network sites seems to bring people together and connected on the other hand it creates social isolation in regard to BBC News report. As the youth tend to spend many hours on these sites, they rarely have face-to-face interaction. According various studies, scientists’ evaluation determined that social isolation can lead to a host of emotional, psychological, physical and mental problems which include anxiety, depression and somatic complaints among many others.
Other negative effects of social networking various people suggested included encouraging poor spelling and grammar, exposing underage to online predators, allowing spread of misinformation that is perceived as fact, decreasing productivity as those who are supposed to be working spend time in the sites to chat, provide a perfect platform for cyber bullying and providing details that increase risks of identity theft.
Social networking clearly portrays both positive and negative effects on the youth. It is decision of an individual to make whether to continue using the sites or not.
In the past decade, the amount of internet users has proliferated replacing bygone forms of media and entertainment with a skyrocketing trend among all ages know as social media. At its basis, social media is a website or application that enables users to create and share content or to participate in social networking which is the form of communication through social media. With social media capturing the internet’s attention, as many as 65% of American adults use social networking sites. Erik Qualman states that “we don't have a choice on whether we do social media, the choice is how well we do it” (Qualman). As social media gains popularity amongst adults, the influences of social media branch off into youth creating a rapidly increasing social network audience among all ages quite contrary to the audience observed in the past decade. While social media may appear to be aiding a variety of youthful people to discover their proclaimed identity through technology, social media is gradually eradicating humanity’s social interaction as online communication becomes one’s voice.
The concern arises when examining the repercussions of social media such as cyberbullying and the significant decrease in social interaction amongst younger generations exposed to vast amounts of technology and media. Furthermore, social media may seem to be a harmless tool that can be utilized for socializing with acquaintances through technology, yet many youthful people do not realize that technology-oriented form of interaction is not a natural human aspect. In addition to the deficiency of natural human interaction caused by socialmedia, social media is invading other areas of human life such as school, work, and relationships.
Prior to the invention of social media, household telephones were commonly utilized for communication with friends and family, whereas with social media, the natural interaction of conversing by voice is void. Social media eradicates the presence of conversing by voice, therefore, many people feel more secure when conversing via social media. By means of social media, people have regulated contact with society in order to increase their self-esteem. Albert Einstein, one of the most astute figures in the 20th century, quoted: “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots” (Einstein). This quote often applies to younger generations made up of millennials and post-millennials. Many people argue that in a certain aspect Einstein made a valid point in his reasoning while others tend to rebut his philosophy.
With the many rapid advances being made in technology and the internet, people express concern for the future of society as a whole. Many people argue that theoretically, social media is having a negative impact on youth (typically teenagers) by decreasing the amount of socialinteraction, whereas others are in disbelief of the “decreasing” amount of social interaction amongst youth. Self-identities play a big role in social interaction, yet a person’s self-identity is partially derived from social media. One’s self-identity is developed by self-awareness and gaining feedback on achievements. With the recent invention of social media, people are tending to base their identities solely off of the latest trends over social media, and the blatant image of the “perfect person” that has undermined every positive self-images of oneself. Whether it is “the perfect body-image” or “the perfect personality” being propelled towards people, many people feel the lack of confidence which degrades their self-image.
Before social media’s existence, many people lacked these degrading feelings of self-image, yet the tide has turned. Society is now incessantly veered to the prominent teaching that self-image is the very basis of humans, and if one has an inferior self-image, that person is inferior to society. Subsequently, there becomes a loss of identity when one becomes wrapped up in “all the hype” on supposedly Facebook or Instagram. Society as a whole is not perceiving the detrimental outcome of the negative brainwashing social media can have on people. Society has simply become immune to popular influences and believes that the way of popular self-image pertains to what each individual’s self-image should be. “Self-identity is no longer self-identity, meaning derived from the self, but rather is an identity projected onto us by popular culture and in no way an accurate reflection of who we really are” (Taylor).
On the upside, as much as social media has reduced self-identities, social media has made a positive impact on society when used in a constructive manner. Social media can positively affect society by providing a canvas for a ravishing masterpiece. Many people find it easier to express their self-identities in an environment desolate of the anxiety a real-life situation possesses. Along with the ease of anxiety, social media has provided society a unique opportunity to create our self-image through the means of a “digital museum.” There are many routes available on social media. One can easily mask their identity through social media due to the fact that social media allows for more control, especially when it comes to customizing the layout of one’s profile. Contrary to hiding one’s identity, a person can reflect on their self-image without having any anxiety from peers.
In conclusion, social media has many drawbacks in terms of the expression of identity when people feel obligated to blend in with popular idols that are adorned across social media, whereas others may simply articulate their identity throughout social media. Individuals can either construct a synthetic identity that deviates from their true one, or construct a bona fide identity projecting their personality and qualities to the outside world. Coming to a conclusion, social media does not affect the identity of the individual, rather how the individual handles socialmedia is what affects their identity.
The effects of social media on language and communication
Social media's had both positive and negative impacts on language and communication. Communication can be described as an act or a process between sender and receiver using words, sounds or symbols. Having the ability to communicate effectively is definitely the most important life skill to learn. Providing us the opportunity to not only understand, but to connect with the people around us. Communication provides links, which bind an association together in order to evolve common understanding Rodgers etal (2002). Social media is our link to sharing breaking news and to communicate with larger audiences from all over the world.
As a result, if you happen to have family or friends who live out of state, you can instant message or "FaceTime" them to keep in touch. In addition, emojis as well as acronyms such as BRB (be right back) have added major elements of nonverbal communication. So, if someone is unable to see you at the present time, you're still able to express yourself by using an emoticon. Not to mention you can post photos and share them on your Facebook instead of having Grandma wait by the mailbox for those lovely class portraits.
Also, a lot of events have taken place in the past few years that we wouldn't have known about if it wasn't for social media. In regards to the recent police brutality incidents, only the officer's side of the story would have reached media not the victims nor bystanders. Then, you have the #FlintWaterCrisis hashtag which reveled to America how contaminated water in the city of Michigan resulted in more than 6,000 children being exposed to high levels of lead and a series of health problems.
Furthermore, it has become the norm for people to communicate through technology most no longer know how to interact when face to face anymore. During a party, few people are actually taking the time to communicate verbally. Most rather text friends in the same room or tweet about how much of a good time they're having. I've watched families while dining out for dinner, take calls and even their toddlers are glued to a smartphone or tablet. Social networking sites and technology as a whole takes away from the time we would spend telling loved ones about our day and that's truly unfortunate.