Social a better source of news for them.

Social media,
like many things in life, has its advantages and disadvantages. People have
become dependent on the Internet and the things that have come with it like social
media. They use this source to obtain information about many things like
political issues. People become well informed through sources like Twitter,
Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. The Internet has opened up communications
around the world and social media is an important factor in expanding this
communication. It is no longer just talking to someone else on the phone from
another country, but now it is video chatting, instant messaging, and sharing
pictures in a matter of seconds with people who you may not even know. By using
these communications, an employer can recruit employees and people can keep in
touch with their loved ones who may live far away. Nowadays, few people buy newspapers,
as the networking sites have become a better source of news for them. Since social
media started, it became very popular and the popularity has increased more
extremely over the years but it has also brought negativity to teenagers in
some ways. Bullying has increased as well as committing suicide among
adolescents. There has been many stories about teenagers getting bullied and
getting pushed to the point of wanting to hurt themselves, which is devastating
because they are just children who have had a short life to fully understand
the concept of taking a life away and they do not know that it is something
permanent that can not be fixed once it is done. Social networking should be
considered more harmful than beneficial.

            Adolescents use social media as a
platform to express themselves and to share their lives with each other using the
new ways of socializing but these new possibilities have an effect on a lot of
young people. There have been many concerns about things like “sexting” and how
this affects a teenagers’ self-development. There are also things like bullying
and self-harm that concern parents. In the article, “Sexting, Selfies and
Self-Harm: Young People, Social Media and the Performance of Self Development” by
Fleur Gabriel, he talks about these harms that affect the social and mental
health of a teen and the problems it constructs in their sexual and
self-development. Most teens like to share pictures and videos on the web to
feel accepted and admired by the rest of their peers. These teenagers like to
share pictures of them wearing the nicest clothes or going out to the expensive
places because these are the things that are often accepted in the world of
social media but this creates problems with children and teenagers, especially
with girls. Teenage girls are still figuring out their identity but the
standards of physical beauty and sexual conduct promoted by the advertising in
social media can confuse them. Girls are always influenced by the things they
see in social media and when they see other girls with boyfriends, they want
the same and often times, this is their weakness because they engage in things
like “sexting” to flirt with other boys and after that, they can start sending
nude pictures and they risk having personal pictures or information uploaded
onto the web.  Fleur Gabriel says, “…this
process is considered unhealthy because children and teens are still developing
cognitively, socially and emotionally, and therefore lack sufficient maturity
to fully understand and consent to the sexual material they are both producing
via social media and exposed to through the wider media sphere”(Gabriel 105).
Teen girls are more vulnerable than teens boys because they worry about fitting
in and being pretty. They seek acceptance and attention from teenage boys and
they do not notice how sending flirtatious images or messages can result in
affecting them. One way they can be seriously affected by sexting, is sexual
assault. People may start to assume that just because someone sends nude
pictures, they will agree to any sexual advance.

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            Another issue of concern is
marketing to youth using social networking. Most teens want the nicest things
and they are the most vulnerable to useless products that seem useful. This
kind of advertising can sponsor unhealthy products and it can be a danger to
young adults. The article, “Marketing to Youth in the Digital Age: The
Promotion of Unhealthy Products and Health Promoting Behaviours on Social
Media” by Sally Dunlop, discusses the most used social networking platforms and
the advertising that these platforms offer to most of the young adults in the
world. Sally Dunlop provides evidence of the marketing and sponsoring of
unhealthy products to young adults as well as examples of the many popular
social media platforms that are used for these promotions. Most of these
products include unhealthy food, alcohol, and tobacco. Many companies like to
target adolescents because it is always an easy target. One of the products
that are promoted to adolescents worldwide is junk food. Childhood obesity is a
global issue and it brings a concern to people when it is widely promoted among
children who do not have the maturity or the common sense to know that the
things that look good are actually bad for them. Another product that is widely
promoted among children is alcohol. Sally Dunlop says in her article, “The
promotion of energy dense and nutrient poor food and beverages on social media
is well documented in marketing case studies of successful campaigns” (Dunlop
36). Companies have smart techniques that they use on reaching adolescents and
they do this by promoting on television commercials and advertising on popular
social media sites. These companies also promote food in a sense of making it
seem healthy but it can end up being worse than it appears. They also pay
famous celebrities to sponsor their products on their social media pages.
Celebrities have a huge influence on teenagers because they like to follow them
and want to live like them. They admire celebrities in a sense that they follow
everything they do.

            Social media has also had a huge
impact on teens with their self-esteem. The article, “Impact of Social Media on
Self-Esteem”, by Muqaddas Jan shows the statistics of the use of social media
causing lower self-esteem. Researchers have found that for every hour spent
daily on Facebook results in a 5.574 decrease in the self-esteem score on an
individual. This statistic is honestly interesting and eye opening because it
shows how damaging social media may be to the self-esteem of a lot of people,
mostly teens. The most popular and most used social networking site is Facebook
and it has more than one billion users worldwide. This site has also become
responsible for the increase in cyber bullying and low self-esteem. In the
research done for the article, Muqaddas Jan says, “Festinger claimed that these
social networking sites lead many people to do self-evaluations and make social
comparisons between themselves and others based on social classes, social
roles, beauty, popularity, wealth accumulation and other social functions” (Jan
331-332). Many people, to express themselves or to communicate with other
people and have online relationships, use Facebook along with Instagram and
Snapchat. Teenagers love to post everything about their lives on these sites
and people like to compare themselves to others based on their beauty, social
class, and popularity. As said before, people like to post pictures wearing the
nicest clothes and hanging out at the expensive places. They show the beauty of
their lives but they do not show the ugliness of their life. They like to make
it seem as if their life is perfect and fun but the reality is that everyone
deals with problems in their life, whether you are rich or poor. The people,
who use media frequently, assume that other people may be living a better life
than them and it can cause them to question their lifestyle and can lead to
depression and/or low self-esteem. One other thing to consider as a problematic
result in social media is cyber bullying and this is found particularly with
teenagers. All adolescents care about in their years of middle school and high
school is to fit in and they are often brought down and bullied by their peers
and these so-called friends can be very brutal and they do not notice how they
can deeply hurt another person. These teenagers who are often picked on by the
popular kids may be judged on their appearance and/or where they come from.

            Although social media can be very
harmful to teenagers, it can also be very beneficial to them. There are many
teens that deal with social issues and they find it difficult to interact with
other people. Social media has enabled them the power to be able to interact
and communicate with their peers. Teenagers, who may often be isolated in the
real world, can participate online and feel accepted by others who may or may
not be dealing with the same issues. According to the article, “Benefits and
Risks of Children and Adolescents Using Social Media”, by Elda Tartari, social
media can be used by teenagers as a source of information on health. One big
subject of interest among teenagers, more specifically girls, is the physical
appearance. The social network is popular for Instagram pages, Facebook pages,
or Snapchat pages with information by many celebrities or anonymous people on
how to lose weight and how to keep a healthy diet. In the article, Elda Tartari
says, “Seventeen percent of teens who use the Internet, report they use it to
gather information about health topics that are hard to discuss with others,
such as drug abuse and sexual health” (Tartari 324). Although the percentage is
low, it is a good thing that teenagers make good use of social media to help
them with information on topics that they may find hard to talk about with
their parents or friends. It was also found that students learn more when using
the media. Students in middle school, as well as high school, use the media to
communicate with school companions on homework or projects. According to the
article, there has also been a creation of blogs by schools with help on
learning skills with teaching tools. Social media provides students with a lot
of important information on personal issues and on education.

            The previous article has interesting
facts about the benefits of the use of social media but there is more harm than
benefits as a result of this new technology. It is a great way to interact with
family and friends but it is also a great place to go bully someone. There are
media sites like Sarahah and Ask.fm, where anyone can comment on their thoughts
about certain people and it is totally anonymous. This is the reason for the
increase in cyberbullying within teens. The so-called “beauty help” on social
media is also responsible for the increase in low self-esteem within the youth.
More specifically teenage girls who like to compare themselves to the famous
models on Instagram. Also, not all students use social media to get better at
learning and they can end up getting addicted to being on social media and
catching up on all the gossip that comes with it. There are also websites like YouTube
that some teachers like to assign to students as a “how to” for many
assignments and although some may not consider YouTube a social network, it is
addictive as well as many other social networks. Being addicted to these
networking sites is very unhealthy and can soon get in the way of homework and
sleep.

            In conclusion, it can be said that
although social media has proven to be very harmful, it is not going away
anytime soon. The percentage of bullying, low-self esteem, and depression will
continue to rise inevitably. The only thing that can be done is to use social
media for positivity and benefit from it, or it can be used negatively to
impact adults and adolescents all around the world. Everyone has a choice as to
how they want to use social media and it can only be hoped that it will be used
for good and not bad. Depression is an issue of serious matter as well as
bullying and low self-esteem. Usually, kids between the ages of 3 and 11 are
kids who have high a self-esteem because they are children with no worries and
no intentions of being popular. They are simply kids who want to be themselves
and have fun but once they get into social media, their self-esteem goes down
and they no longer want to have fun and be themselves, they want to be who they
see on social media; popular. As social media has become more and more used
around the world, children are becoming more involved in social media at a
young age, therefore, they risk going through low-self esteem at a younger age.
The purpose of social media has been totally changed because now instead of it
being used as a way of interaction and communication, it is used to compare
lifestyles and it creates envy between these lifestyles.

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