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Is Social Media a Good Idea for Teens?

Maddie G., Contributor

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Social media is becoming a big part of society and is constantly growing due to the increased amount of smartphone activity.  The access to information is instantaneous. People in general are more inclined to share information on their social channels, instead of having true human connections.  For teenagers, social media might not be the best choice to get at this age, because of the lack of self regulation and maturity. Furthermore, there is new research that supports the idea that social media is not healthy for teens.

 

Psychology Today reports social media was never intended for younger audiences.  The primary reason for this is based on teenagers’ level of brain development at this age. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls behavior and judgement, and is not fully developed until the age of 25.  While one can teach the responsibility of technology use, one cannot teach the maturity that social media requires.

 

Social media also gives a false sense of reality, only focusing on the good.  Does anyone really have 2,000 friends? Does anyone know these friends well enough to spend time with them? It does not prepare children for life and causes them to overdo their friend connections, just like they overdo other things.  When someone posts something about an activity or an adventure they participated in, they fail to realize how that may impact the people in their social group. It may create feelings of jealousy and the others might feel left out.

 

Social media can bring out the worst in people, due to the convenience and ability to hide behind screens. It is much easier to type mean and hurtful things instead of telling them face to face.  This is the reason why cyberbullying is so prevalent among teenagers. Schools even go so far as making students sign a contract, because these measures hold students accountable for their actions, and they may make them think twice about cyberbullying.

 

Although social media has some downsides, it also has some positive things too.  People get up to date information on the news, stay connected with friends and family, get new ideas and inspiration, and have entertainment. However, the best solution is really to minimize the amount of time spent online, as this will provide a break and allow for time to hang out with friends and family.  Live in the moment, instead of posting about it. And when anyone decides to participate in social media, make sure to approach it responsibly.

1 Comment

One Response to “Is Social Media a Good Idea for Teens?”

  1. Hannah T on September 19th, 2018 8:19 pm

    Hi, awesome article! I really enjoyed that you brought this up because very few students would share important information like this because it may go against the “norm” of everyone else. Keep up the good work!

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