The Positives and Negative Effects of Social Media on Teens

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There is a variety of opinions about social media. Most teens, along with many other adults, talk about the bad experiences they’ve had on social media. On the other hand, others think that spending time on social media isn’t at all that bad. There are negative and positive psychological effects of having social media platforms in your daily life that can either persuade you to use social media more often or limit your time on your phone and other technology using social media.

Negative Effects

It’s often heard of the negative effects of social media and a lot of the negative facts are true. One of the negative effects of social media is cyberbullying. Teens tend to have fights on social media that can affect their mindset because it’s way easier to say something you wouldn’t say in person, on social media. Adolescents sometimes are victims of being bullied online by students they know at school. These platforms give easy access to bullying because it’s not in person and all just behind a screen. Such activity and other uses of social media can cause psychological effects like depression, anxiety, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Spending more and more time behind a screen, teens can develop an instinct causing them to either fight or run away in response to a situation called fight-or-flight mode. They would get used to “resolving” situations they come across this way and won’t learn how to solve a problem maturely. Furthermore, a change in sleep schedules can also be noticed in adolescents after using social media. A lot of teens are sleep deprived and psychologists connect this

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to their use of technology before bed. Teens often stay up for hours on school nights using platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more. This causes them to forget all about their homework and are too unenergized the next day. While they’re on social media teens also like to text a lot. Studies show that 75% of teens would much rather text than talking in person or even call. This is because with texting, you can reply to a text at your own time and it’s more disquieting talking to someone about something important than it is over text hiding behind a screen. This causes a lack of communication between families that can make them more distant without being attentive to what’s going on through their family. Texting can become too obsessive or addicting to the point where it becomes dangerous. An example is that teens would text and drive. In fact, one out of four car accidents is caused by texting and driving according to edgarsnyder.com. Whether you spend a lot of time on social media or not, a simple search on the internet can make you another victim of a scam. There are pop-ups like advertisements persuading teens to buy from sketchy online stores or to apply for part-time jobs paying you to review restaurants. These are only a few examples of how teens use their parents’ credit cards that end up getting scammed. It’s important to be careful putting in credit card information online because the websites can steal money from it. This is a precaution that many teens ignore or are not aware of.

Positive Effects

Though the negative effects a lot of the time are more talked about, there are multiple positive outcomes of social media. I did mention that social media leads to a lack of communication, but in a way, it also causes more communication. Teens are less scared of
being rejected by friend groups over social media. Because they no longer have this fear, they can feel the social acceptance they probably don’t feel in real life. They can also communicate with friends that moved or they haven’t seen in a long time. A lot of teens not only communicate with friends online, but they even make friends over the internet. This may seem dangerous and imprecise, but a lot of teens can connect with

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others to become friends. This is much easier for teens to get support from their online friends and can talk about their problems as a lot of adolescents are scared of speaking up about their problems in real life. About 80% of teens say that social media has helped them through the bad things that happen in their life because they can talk to the people they care about. Teens are also inspired to be more creative from social media. They can see posts made by others on these social media platforms of artwork or talents that can interest them and eventually become a hobby. They’re persuaded to try their interests themselves to achieve their goal. This will also level the amount of time they’re on social media because they’ll keep attempting to draw the art they saw on Instagram for example or they’re using social media as a reference to keep learning. Social media can also influence more activity and exercise because there are a lot of other people doing the same thing or sponsoring an app that can help others keep track of their health. The internet is filled with dance trends that a lot of teens seem to be having fun learning and creating  for 

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others to try today. Even academically, there are educational websites that a lot of teachers use to help improve their teaching. Students may be less stressed with homework if it’s online because their work isn’t so scattered and it’s easier being organized using these platforms for school work. On social media, teens share lots of posts about different topics whether it’s entertaining or informing people of their society. This can help spread awareness of many things that need to be solved. For example, recently there has been a lot of fires in Australia. People make posts or share posts they see on their “stories” to spread awareness or informing people on how they could help by donating. Without this use of social media, it would be dependent more on news channels to get help from inhabitants meaning that there are fewer chances of Australia being helped while using social media, platforms that a lot of the population spends their time on, more people will be informed and willing to help as they’re more persuaded to.

All in all, social media can have its ups and downs but at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to control the amount of time we’re online. Too much or too little of anything can give adverse consequences. Keep track of the time you’re using social media or set time limits that online platforms like Instagram and YouTube provide for you. Have fun on social media because that’s what it’s about but also remember to be smart about it and be attentive to what you post or do on social media every day.