We live in an age where all the information we need is a click away. We can get information about anything and everything in a fraction of a second. Also, we can talk to anyone in any corner of the world. All thanks to social media. The current generation is very fortunate to witness the most innovative and amazing technological developments ever in history.
Social media is an internet-based technology that provides people from all over the world a platform to communicate and share their ideas, thoughts, beliefs and information.
This era of social media is advancing at a glaring speed. Anything that is expanding so rapidly has both positives and negatives.
Impact of social media on youth
Social media has a widespread impact on the youth. Among all the age groups they’re the ones who are most active in it. These days it’s a trend to be on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter etc. If you do not have an account on any of these sites, then for some people you do not exist. There’s a lot of pressure on them to be on social networking sites and have impressive profiles. Studies show that on average a teenager spends 72 hours per week online which is considered very high. With this, they are left with little time to study and do other activities like playing outside, cycling etc.
Age Restrictions on Social Media
Advantages of social media for children and adults
- Educational purposes– Several educational technology researchers supported the use of social networking sites in the educational process. It enhances child’s knowledge and emphasizes on collaborative learning.
- Boosts confidence– It helps introverted people to connect and interact with various people and hence boosts confidence.
- Worldwide connectivity– It is the communication that brings us all together and social media provides us with a platform to connect with others and share our views and information. We can know and talk to people in any corner of the world.
- The fast spread of news and information– Anything happening in any part of the world like any natural calamity, sports etc. all this news spread within seconds through social media.
- Business purposes– Social media is an excellent platform for growing your business.
- Reach to large audiences
- Direct interaction with your audience
- Building a brand
- Can create viral content
- Evaluate your performance
Disadvantages of social media
- Screen Addiction– Youngsters spend hours each day on social media watching photos and videos. This addiction disrupts other activities and hampers studies and physical activities. They waste a substantial amount of time and end up getting poor grades. Also, it delays their mental and social development.
- Privacy problems– Social media has grown over years, but there is always the risk of data breaches. There is an increased risk of hacking, and your data being stolen and used inappropriately.
- Security issues especially in children and teenagers–
- They may get exposed to inappropriate content including sexual, violent and aggressive.
- They may upload inappropriate content like embarrassing photos or videos of themselves or others.
- Cyberbullying– It is the use off technology to embarrass, harass, target or threatening someone or posting, sharing some negative content.
- Reduces family intimacy– For example, when the whole family is spending quality family time together or watching TV or having meals together, most children and teenagers are on their phones.
- Lacks emotion– You can’t interpret the emotion and interest of the other person during an online conversation.
- Change in lifestyle and habits– People sit down in one place and keep scrolling on social media for too long. Also using phones late at night will hamper your sleeping schedule.
Social Media Addiction
It is a behavioural addiction in which a person is overly concerned about social media. There is an uncontrolled desire to log on to social media and devote so much time to the Internet that it disturbs other important life areas ( such as work, health or relationships). It is characterized by-
- Compulsive use
- Mood modification
- Craves for more
- Lost control of its use
- Gets violent when asked to stop
Adverse effects –
- fall in grades/work performance
- affecting relationships
- getting aggressive/irritated for no reason
- affecting health – especially sleep and eating habits, and personal hygiene.
- withdrawal symptoms – when social media usage is restricted or stopped, the person experiences unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms.
- Relapse – an addicted person can quickly revert to excessive usage of social media after an abstinence period.
Social media etiquettes
Children are the future of our nation. They need to be age-appropriate and updated as they grow. Also, they should feel safe and empowered to deal with the virtual world. Thus, for transforming them into “Responsible digital citizens” and for healthy use of social media, we need to set down some digital rules.
- Try not to share personal information, if want to then be careful.
- Behave nicely with everyone and treat others the way you want to be treated
- Avoid Sexting – sending, sharing or receiving sexually explicit messages/images/videos
- Don’t post anything in anger
- Words do hurt – even without the nonverbal cues, messages may get misinterpreted
- Quality matters, not quantity
- Don’t trust people
- Limit screen time
- Monitor usage of your children
- Keep privacy settings updated
- Encourage other interests and passions like some hobby, sports, social work etc.
- Encourage to engage in more face-to-face conversations
And take a break if social media is taking you down. After all, it improves your life when used correctly.