Teens and Social Media

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Teensand Social Media


Teensand Social Media

SocialMedia Websites are platforms that facilitate social interactions(O`Keeffe &amp Clarke-Pearson, 2011). Examples of such sitesinclude MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Club Penguin, andYouTube. These social portals offer young adults gateways forcommunication and entertainment. Young people can post or view blogs,profile pictures, videos, photos, and news about the latest events(Gengler, 2011, p. 1). Also, these websites help facilitatecommunication among people in diverse geographical locations.Consequently, people are able to share ideas or transact businessacross the world. Studies reveal that teens are, presently, postingmore personal information on Social Networking Sites compared to thepast (Madden et al. 2013, p. 2). Thefreedom to share and access personal information on social mediawebsites has resulted in the development of both positive andnegative influences on the lives of teenagers.


Thesocial media offers teens new skills and ways of participating in theworld. Scholars assert that social networking sites afford technicalliteracy and novel skills to adolescents these skills enable them toexpress their opinions more effortlessly (Ahn, 2011, p. 1438). Asopposed to the goings-on in the past, young adults can now sharetheir thoughts on the issues that affect them. Previously, youthscould not express their opinions because they felt intimidated by theadults they believed that grow-ups were more mature and experiencedand that saying anything that contradicted their opinions wasdisrespectful. The advent of technology emboldens the youngergeneration since they do not speak directly with the grown persons.Also, since the youngsters can form online communities, where theycan post information on the issues that affect them, mobilizing eachother to express their viewpoints on the happenings that concern themis easy. Through social networking sites, young adults can disclosepersonal information regarding their tastes and identities.Additionally, teenagers also get to accept or reject friendshiprequests from their peers thus, navigating the complex web offriendship practices. The interactions and feedback that individualsget during their interactions, in the comments and wall posts, revealtheir peer influence processes and complex social identity in onlinecommunities. In essence, social media platforms offer ideal platformsfor teens to develop social and personal identities. The new skillsand ways of participating in the world, which are extended toteenagers, open up avenues that encourage young adults to learn.

Thesocial media offers an ideal environment for teens to learn ordevelop something constructive online. Through the social media,adolescents can receive feedback from their instructors or create acommunity that is similar to the conventional school or library(Young Adult Library Services Association, 2011, p. 2). Teachers canpost comments about the performance of their students, provide adviceon how to improve academic performance, or even offer teachinglessons via social networking platforms. Students can also improvetheir academic capacities through these platforms. Students maychoose to start a campaign geared toward sensitizing their fellowstudents about the importance of academic excellence in the realworld. Such a campaign would inspire students to pay more attentionto their classwork. Also, social networking sites can be used toreach various ends in schools. For example, youngsters can share whatthey learn online. The nature of the technology offers teens an idealenvironment to receive feedback from their peers, teachers, parents,and librarians. In addition, a sense of community can be developedthrough social websites. Such communities integrate the positiveaspects of the social media into the programs, classrooms, andservices that are intended to better the educational achievements ofstudents. Students may learn faster or even ask questions, on theissues that perplex them, in students’ virtual communities comparedto physical classes. By extension, these online communities mayencourage youthful adults to develop social skills.

Theuse of social platforms helps the youths to learn the rules of socialinteraction, particularly if they make regular updates in theirsocial world (Gengler, 2011, p. 2). By building personal profiles,teens get an outlet where they can express themselves creatively.These individuals can write about their experiences in life or howthey feel about particular topics. This type of writing can helpadolescents learn how to express themselves in the physical world.Frequent access or entry into an online blog can also offer youngadults the opportunity to develop their writing skills and articulatetheir thoughts and opinions more freely. Teens who write morefrequently are able to arrange their thoughts better and assert theirpositions in a way that does not offend other people. In addition,teens also gain insights into the rules that define socialinteractions through social networking sites. Frequent updates in thesocial media world open teens up to various platforms. For examplesocial networking websites allow youngsters to connect with personswho share common interests, enable them to explore the differentfacets of technology, and help them gain a better understanding ofpersonal and other people’s specialized interests. In fact, studiesreveal that the youth pick up basic technological and social skillswhile hanging out online. Consequently, adolescents learn how to usethe social media in a productive manner early in their lives.

Throughthe social media, educators can equip their students with knowledgeof good digital citizenship and the ways in which the social mediacan be harnessed to improve the lives of the younger generation(Siddiqui &amp Singh, 2016, p. 72). Technology has been documentedto enhance personal and technological development among studentsthrough the introduction of small communication strategies, whichenable them to gain access to social networks from any location. Suchgadgets include laptops, smartphones, and iPads. Through thesedevices, young adults can tap into the social media and enhancecollaboration amongst themselves. Social media sites like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram can help students work or learn as groups,even though they are not within the same geographical location. Bysharing ideas on these platforms students can find solutions to theproblems that face them. Also, by writing blogs, these individualscan enhance their writing and technological skills. Social mediasites can also be used for conducting online examinations, which playa substantial role in enhancing the knowledge of students. Despitethe positive impacts that social media platforms have on teens, theyalso have adverse effects like exposure to violence.

Thesocial media may expose the younger generation to crime. Adults,sometimes, share images or videos that contain graphic content thismay affect the behaviors of children negatively (Siddiqui &ampSingh, 2016, p. 74). Some blogs post images and content thatencourages violence or glorify it. For example, radical groups mayrecruit young adults through social platforms by introducing them tothe teachings that violate the conventional way of life in society.The youth may mimic the behavior that they see on the blogs to appear“cool” or to be accepted by a particular group of people. Sinceidentifying strangers in the virtual world is difficult, consideringthe fact that people become friends without meeting physically,parents find safeguarding their children from the wrong group ofpeople perplexing. Thus, young people, whose guardians are seldompresent in their day to day lives, seek acceptance in groups that maynot be after their best interests. This set of circumstances developsan ideal ground for crimes such as murder, kidnapping, and robberysince anyone can access personal information that is shared publiclyon the social media. In addition to exposing adolescents to thedetriments of crime, the social media is also addictive.

Apositive correlation between the social media and addiction, amongteenagers, has been identified. Teens spend too much time on socialmedia thus, diverting time that would, otherwise, have been used oneducation to posting images and updating their statuses on the socialmedia (Siddiqui &amp Singh, 2016, p. 74). Students are usuallydistracted in class and spend too much time chatting with friends.This type of distraction has been proven to lead to a significantdecline in the educational performance of students. Since youngstersspend significantly long periods posting their pictures and updatingtheir statuses in websites, less time is devoted to schoolwork. Also,students lose the ability to engage in meaningful conversations withtheir peers and other members of society Since adolescents focus toomuch of their energy chatting on social networking sites like Twitterand Facebook, they lose the interpersonal skills that are required tosocialize in the physical world. Consequently, these individualsbecome unable to express themselves confidently in social gatheringsor among peers, in spite of their high levels of educationalachievements. This happenstance may also lead to the wearying ofsocial ties.

Thesocial media has been linked with the weakening of social ties. Vitalsocial ties like family deteriorate because people spend more timeinteracting with new people via the social media (Siddiqui &ampSingh, 2016, p. 74). Social media sites offer adolescents theopportunity to meet people who live in different geographicallocations. As a result, these young people develop interest inidentifying the preferences and tastes of their “new friends.”The young adults, therefore, end up spending less time with theirfamily members. With time, this trend leads to a breakdown in familyties. Family members become strangers to each other since all themembers are busy chatting with their virtual friends. Eventually, theyoung adolescents start acquiring undesirable behaviors from theirfriends since their guardians have no control over who the youngstersinteract with. The wilting social ties could, by extension, result inthe collapse of the education system.

Socialmedia sites do not review the information that is posted on theirplatforms thus, unsuspecting students may be misled by the incorrectinformation that is posted on these platforms (Siddiqui &amp Singh,2016, p. 72). The majority of writers and bloggers use informationfrom sources that are not reliable. Consequently, the informationthat they post may not be correct. Students, due to a lack ofknowledge, use this information to develop different views onparticular topics. Since the information used is, mostly, inaccurate,the conceptions developed by these individuals are usually wrongthis leads to a collapse of the education system. Also, spending toomuch time in the social media may deny students the ability todevelop critical thinking skills. Since students spend all their timeonline, they stop nourishing themselves with the knowledge orinformation that would help them better their understanding of theworld or their areas of expertise. In the end, educationalinstitutions produce students who lack the capacity to articulate theissues that affect the society, or even come up with solutions tobasic societal problems.


Ina recap of the above discussion, the impact of the social media onthe lives of teens reveals that these websites have both positive andnegative effects on the academic and personal lives of young adults.Through these social platforms, young adults get a gateway forcommunication and entertainment. Teens can post blogs, profilepictures, videos, photos, and news about the latest events. Theconsequences of such activities vary widely among adolescents, asdiscussed above.


Ahn,J. (2011). The effect of social network sites on adolescents` socialand academic development: Current theories and controversies. J.Am. Soc. Inf. Sci.,62(8),1435-1445. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.21540

Gengler,C. (2011). A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers Teens and socialnetworking websit, 1 – 2. Retrieved fromhttp://www.extension.umn.edu/family/families-with-teens/fact-sheets/teens-and-social-networking-websites.pdf

Madden,M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U., Duggan, M., Smith, A., &ampBeaton, M. (2013). Teens, Social Media, and Privacy, 2. Retrievedfromhttp://www.pewinternet.org/files/2013/05/PIP_TeensSocialMediaandPrivacy_PDF.pdf

O`Keeffe,G. &amp Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The Impact of Social Media onChildren, Adolescents, and Families,&nbsp127(4).Retrieved fromhttp://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/4/800

Siddiqui,S. &amp Singh, T. (2016). Social Media its Impact with Positive andNegative Aspects.&nbspIJCATR,5(2),71-75. http://dx.doi.org/10.7753/ijcatr0502.1006

YoungAdult Library Services Association,. (2011). Teens &amp Social Mediain School &amp Public Libraries: A Toolkit for Librarians &ampLibrary Workers, 2. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/professionaltools/Handouts/sn_toolkit11.pdf

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