Essay on Social Media and Teenagers’ Emotional Well-Being

Published: 2021/12/28
Number of words: 1418

Social media is a vastly adopted technology in modern society. Teenagers are the major users of this technology, making it part of their daily routine and life. Notably, most of these young people regard social media as an essential entity in their life (Nesi 118). This form of embracement, however, has some associated benefits to them, such as empowering their social life, enhancing their communication skills, and allowing them access to friendly platforms for sharing ideas and knowledge. It is worth noting that some parents and professionals, especially education stakeholders, have applauded teenagers’ use of social media for connection as being healthy. Even though it is projected to be part of teenagers’ lives, it presents shortcomings just like any other technology that has limitations and negative influences. In depth social media analysis hints at several desirable and undesirable impacts on young people, and it also reveals some mitigation measures worth adopting.

Currently, there are several social media platforms, and the leading ones regarding usage popularity by teenagers include Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. Statistically, in the year 2018, 85% of teenagers used YouTube to communicate, 72% used Snapchat, 51% utilized Facebook, and 69% used Snapchat (Nesi 117). The same data source indicated these young people between 16 and 24 years of age consumed three hours a day on social media platforms. I realize that I belong to this group and because of that awareness, I need to check my health risks as I continue to use this technology. The frequency of teenagers’ social media use varies, and in some way, the overuse is linked to mentally ill individuals encountering internalizing problems.

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Teenagers are the major users of social media; they obtain significant benefits, such as emotional wellbeing based on controlled anxiousness and stress. Moreover, they are able to obtain joy because there are several fun items that people share on these platforms. These spaces also offer teenagers prowess in communication skills, as they are able to express their feelings directly to their friends through social media (Akram and Rekesh 348). Personally, I have expressed my problems in a specific Facebook group, and I have managed to obtain solutions worth adoption. Therefore, apart from being a fun place to connect with friends, social media can be used for obtaining reliefs and solutions to problems we have. It connects people beyond geographical barriers, making the world look like a global village.

Teenagers largely depend on their friends for individual analysis, such as the measure of their esteem. Most teens prefer to obtain a mirror of themselves from other people’s perspectives. Because of this need, it is common to find that most teens would post charming images of themselves, wearing trendy clothes in order to obtain other’s appreciation. In brief, this feeling prompts teenagers to like the tendency of connecting with more friends and expand their interaction horizon (Nesi 120). In my view, social media has enabled globalization, hence enabling young people to connect and be friends globally. It is because social media has a significant independence level, fostering teenagers to freely socialize.

Social media has also enhanced learning and sharing knowledge. By surfing through social media platforms, it is possible to obtain significant data about a particular research question, enabling one to accomplish study objectives (Akram and Rekesh 353). Moreover, the knowledge gained from these platforms can help a teenager to operate in a specific way in their daily lives; that is, there are experiences worth noticing and they can change one’s life. From my experience, I have read social media stories regarding drug use, and I noticed that all of them end in a bad state. This lesson helped me develop an awareness of drugs.

In my view, the benefits of social media seem to outweigh limitations. However, limitations are extreme, as they undesirably dent a person’s emotional well-being. Specifically, social media undesirably affects teenagers who are susceptible to mental illness. Young adults aged between 18 to 25 are also highly susceptible to mental illness (Ine et al. 57). As such, I believe social media adversely affects a large teenage population who are encountering mental illness or those susceptible to mental illness. This group of young people spends at least three hours a day surfing and it is associated with internalizing problems. Some extensive detriments of this behavior entail disrupted sleeping patterns, meaning they can suffer from sleep deprivation-related illnesses. In addition, these teens can be distracted from performing some important activities in their lives, such as concentrating in class. In the worst-case scenario, social media can expose teens to vices such as bullying, peer pressure, rumor spreading, and unrealistic life (Akram and Rekesh 349). I think the anxiety created by social media on teenagers is emotionally and mentally damaging. I am not excluded from this danger, noting I have been a victim of rumor-mongering. I recall posting fictitious highlights of my travels, covering some parts of Brazil’s beaches, and it was all a lie. Therefore, it is proper for every young person using social media platforms to be conscious of these factors so as to avoid insignificant shock.

Depression and anxiety are negative mental and emotional concerns related to social media overuse. Teenagers who are spending too much of their time on social media can feel sad depending on their specific experiences (Stevens 34). The urge to constantly log in to the various social media platforms, and then respond to various conversations, social network invitations and other related activities pile a lot of pressure on the users.

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I believe that social media elicits relative opinions regarding its impacts on teens. In my view, merits, such as globalization and connectivity, among others are positive claims. On the other hand, the negative impacts of social media on teenagers provide a worrying concern, thus requiring some use limitation strategy, management, and regulation. In this light, parents and other responsible stakeholders should work collectively in order to protect teens from social media damaging impacts, while maximizing its merits (Seo et al. 884). Still, under the solution part, parents should constantly talk to their young children about the dangers of overs using social media in order to impart awareness and help them manage using rate. In the management realm, face-to-face contact between the teenagers should be encouraged, especially those living close, instead of encouraging them to chat via social media platforms, and also those vulnerable to depression and social anxiety should be advised accordingly (Stevens 46). Reasonable limits should be instituted for teenagers to ensure that they are able to access the right content and that they are able to spend enough recommended time on social media. However, achieving this feat is difficult, noting these platforms are hard to monitor since everyone has the autonomy of choosing how they operate their private accounts.

Social media use has both merits and demerits to the youths. Regarding its detriments, there are mitigations worth considering. The emotional well-being of teenagers in regards to social media is a relative subject that raises societal concern and occasion comprehensive analysis and regulation. Every individual has autonomous opinions regarding the benefits and the limitations of social media. The teenage population is the greatest consumer of social media and the ubiquitous nature of the technology in their life leads to the need to design healthy ways for its consumption. Social media can only positively impact teenagers’ emotional well-being if they are well regulated; that is if the teenagers are made aware of the detriments and merits. Also, some corporative approaches can help solve some dangers. Generally, social media-related activities, such as cyberbullying should be shunned in order to avoid damaging emotional needs. As with any other technology then I suppose social media has its limitations and benefits and the need to balance the two positively should be a vital concern on the parents, teenagers, and the technology stakeholders.

Works Cited

Akram, Waseem, and Rekesh Kumar. “A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society.” International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, vol5, no. 10, 2017. pp. 347-354.

Ine, Beyens, et al. “The Effect of Social Media on Well-being Differs from Adolescent to Adolescent.” Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group), vol. 10, no. 1, 2020.

Nesi, Jacqueline. “The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health: Challenges and Opportunities.” North Carolina Medical Journal, vol. 81, no. 2, 2020. pp. 116-121.

Seo, Hyunjin, et al. “Teens’ Social Media Use and Collective Action.” New Media & Society, vol. 16, no. 6, 2014. pp. 883-902.

Stevens, Alison Pearce. “Internet use may harm teen health.” Science News for Students, 2015.

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