Are there Positive Effects of Social Media for Teens?
We are constantly bombarded with all the negative effects of teenagers engaging in social media so it is difficult to consider the possible benefits of this pastime. Young people crave connection, and as technology continuously progresses, so too do the available methods of communication. While previous generations solely relied on hand-written written, verbal and non-verbal communication cues, the current generation must also learn the social etiquette related to digital communication, including various social media platforms. Although it is true that there are a plethora of possible adverse outcomes that could result from a teen overindulging in the social media arena, there are also several positive effects social media can have on teens.
Friendships are integral to a teenager’s social and emotional development. The additional communication platforms that social media offer (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) provide teens with more options with which to communicate. Social media can also serve as an effective social networking tool that can increase a teen’s self-confidence. The different social media platforms can enable a teenager to express themselves in ways that may not be conducive to in-person interactions. This can strengthen teen friendships by allowing teens to share and open-up with their friends on social media in ways that would otherwise be impossible.
Reduces Feelings of Loneliness
Social media offers young people an opportunity to re-invent themselves in a virtual setting, and engage with others that they may otherwise not. Social media affords teens a unique ability to cultivate their desired online presence and assume a distinct social media persona. In turn, this newfound individuality can provide teens with an increased sense of security in their existing friendships and may reduce feelings of loneliness.
Global Awareness and Engagement
Social media exposes teens to current events and important issues occurring all across the world. This can give teens a platform to voice their opinions on global issues as well as enable teenagers to get involved in actively supporting various causes. Further, some social movements began as a result of teens leveraging social media to build awareness for certain issues. Teenagers realize that through social media they are able make an instantaneous impact and help to effectively support people from afar.
The possible positive impact social media could have on teenagers is unfathomable. It is, however, important to note that adolescents are highly impressionable beings and for every positive effect social media could have on teens, there is an equal number of potential negative effects that could be caused by social media. As is true with everything in life: moderation is key, especially when it comes to teenagers and social media.
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