Social media is the reason for many of the world’s problems and solutions. It can be used to raise awareness for an important cause, but it can also be used to spread hate, especially between teenagers. Being a teenager, I can be the first to say that social media is how most teens run their life, but is it the right way? Austen McCann makes a brilliant point in his article, “Social media has allowed them to take their life online and instead of saying goodbye to friends at school and waiting to see them the next day…”Although social media can connect teens to the world and friends and family around them, it is actually one of the highest ranking causes of suicide amongst teenagers in the 21st century. As important as connection via the internet can be, social media does not have to be the primary source for teenagers.
The average teenager spends a minimum of 2 hours and 20 minutes on social media every day. In Austin McCann’s Impact of Social Media on Teens articles he brings up that “social media is becoming more than a part of their world, it’s becoming their world.” Teens complain about constantly being stressed with homework, but maybe homework isn’t the main source of the stress. EveryDay Health magazine states that, on statistics, a teenager who spends more time outdoor is generally a happier and healthier kid. However, since 2000, the time teenagers spend outside has decreased significantly causing more depression and obesity. Not only does it affect health, social media deprives parents from having a thorough conversation with their children without them checking their phone. Even though the positive effect of having a social media profile is to communicate with friends/family, they don’t even have the decency to lift their head and engage in a conversation. Enjoying the little things around them becomes a difficult task to the average teenager when they’re too busy tweeting about it. The contradicting effects of it goes to show that social media is not all it is talked up to be.
Should. That is the word that teenagers have no choice but to constantly follow. Social media encourages the false images of how everything should be in a perfect world. This impact is what causes the insecurities and questionings to girls and boys. These misleading pictures of how bodies, relationships, houses, cars, etc. should be are what lowers self esteem and leads to depression and suicides. Aside from connecting, social media revolves around who “retweeted” who’s “selfie” and “how many favorites did that pic get”. It’s almost sickening knowing that teenagers base their insecurities around how many likes they get. The false perception of life portrayed all over social media is misleading towards teens and not worth the effort to filter.
Not only is social media misleading, it is also very unimportant. Aside from the news part of the sites, a majority of the posts are extremely insignificant and unimportant to our world. The kind of information that “Becky just got new car interior” is completely useless in the long run. Nicholas Wapshott states in his Buying Into Big Brother article about social media says, “We may take pity on the idiot schoolboy who uses expletives on Twitter or posts a picture of himself holding a joint at a party only to discover when he looks for a job that a trawl by an HR department has made him unemployable.” Taking a step back can open your eyes to the realization that nothing your friends are going to post will affect your life in the long run. Instead of going through the drama and irrelevant parts of social media, connect with your friends and family by calling them up and avoid the complications and uselessness of the web sites.
Avoiding social media can be very difficult. Especially in a situation where one used it daily and transitioned over within a week. It’s a very challenging task, but in the long run, you will not have to worry about wasting your time, false perceptions and unnecessary information! Encouraging teens and friends to spend less time on social media and more time actually socializing can really change your life for the better.