When was the last time you kept a count of how many hours you were devoting to your phone, specifically social media? You’d be shocked to know that according to statistics and studies, an average person spends approximately 2 hours a day on social media. Knowingly or not, we have successfully made quite a place for social media usage in our precious 24 hours.
A survey report published on Socialmediachimps depicts the impact of social media to an even deeper extent. It says:
- 5 million Facebook users are aged under 10.
- 58% of the Facebook users among children are from the age group 13-17.
- 50% of teens login to their FB account at least once in a day.
- Girls aged 16-17 years are most prone to cyberbullying attacks.
- 10% of teens have had their embarrassing photos being posted on social media sites without permission.
- On the brighter side, social media promotes collaboration, creativity, communication, technological proficiency, and leadership qualities.
While time is yet another factor for all of us to have mixed feelings about social media, we can also agree that there are pros and cons to everything in life and the way social media impacts the youth of this country (and the world) could be something worth thinking over.
Talking about the advantages first which are ample,
Be it catching up with our current friends through Facebook or making new ones with similar interests on Instagram, social media has turned this entire world into a global village. We can talk to our loved ones or complete strangers while being in the comfort of our own homes with just a click. The internet is the cheapest and fastest access to the entire world, available to the entire world. Gone are the days when keeping in touch meant waiting weeks for a letter to arrive.
Now one can easily send a DM to their friends and get a reply back in seconds. One can also trace back their old friends by simply typing out their name and the common ground like the school they went to. Do you like poetry? Find poetry readings and poet groups in your city in seconds through social media. Wherever your heart lies, there’s always something on social media you can pursue. This helps not only in building connections but also gives access to everyone to share ideas and have conversations about things which spikes their interests.
The most beneficial impact social media has on our youth is that it has a gazillion opportunities for us under its umbrella! Earlier in the day, we didn’t have any source or a safe space around to explore our talents, gather knowledge, but now the world is our oyster! Today we can not only explore but also discover our talents through social media. No matter if it’s fashion, comedy, marketing, writing, poetry or photography which raises your adrenaline, there is a platform for you where you can showcase your talent and reach uncountable numbers. And with social media being a global market, you have perspectives and ideas from around the world which not only raises inclusivity but also gives a diverse lens to look at everything around. Also, with corporates using a social network for advertising their products, new job openings for ‘social media manager’ and ‘social media marketing’ are open for all. The exposure is limitless, you just need to click!
In today’s world, almost all of us get our news through social media. The reason for it is that breaking news spreads like wildfire across all social media! Every celebrity or any famous personality today prefer to make all the announcements on either Instagram or Twitter or both! Social media also keeps you updated with things going all around the world, not just your area!
Not just breaking news, social media helps us to know about diseases we never even knew existed before. From signing petitions online for climate control to donating for management, social media has truly made it possible for the common people to join hands in large numbers to speak up and with only a few clicks! Trending hashtags, no matter how unnecessary they look at first, has been known to work for raising awareness and reaching masses.
[Tweet “On the flip side of the coin, things are not all rosy. Internet is an empty ground with no rules and regulations. Everyone here lives under the mask of anonymous.”]
And so it’s hard to ignore the disadvantages of social media:
If the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up checks Instagram, then you’re not alone. Social media is the primary reason for decreasing productivity at work and grades in school. Many of us, if working on something really important prefer to switch our phones off to focus better. Reason being, the notifications popping up of various social media platforms are a major distraction! Society today is full of people who would much rather send a snap on Snapchat to their friends than meeting and having actual conversations. Spending hours and hours on their phones, staring at the screen is preferred over spending time with your loved ones who are there in the same room! We, humans, are social beings who seek validation and attention at all times which social media provides us well. And it’s really to tell when the fondness grows and cross the line to becoming an addiction. But when the said need for validation starts to hinder our primary work and goals, then know that it’s time to take a break.
Internet is a dark place, where more and more youngsters are getting trapped every single day. Increment in cybercrimes every year is worrisome. Hacking, identity theft, scams are just the beginning. You wouldn’t even notice how your social media account will turn into a complete handbook for criminals to rob, stalk, assault you with the help of all the information about your whereabouts which your account holds. Social networking also allows hate groups to form and recruit while spreading hate and propaganda around online! Most youngsters put themselves at risk because of improper use of social media, sharing too much information with strangers, posting pictures of everything around them, etc contributes to lack of privacy.
Cyberbullying or Online harassment as some people call it, is also one of the major concerns around the world. It basically means using digital media to spread hostile information about another person without their consent. It leads to embarrassment, more bullying, and sometimes the person could be affected psychologically leading to anxiety, isolation and in extreme cases, suicide.
When you pick up your phone to answer the text or to casually scroll through Facebook for a minute, do you realize when that minute turns into 45? The various social media which we use everyday has been designed in such a way that we just can’t keep our distance because something interesting is always on our feeds which catches our eyes. We can’t help but keep up with the latest trends and so we scroll away, not realizing how that is affecting our productivity. Of Course, it’s important to keep in touch and chatting with a friend for sometime or reading a few answers on Quora is completely okay. But you know that you will not get that work done before the deadline if you keep taking “social media breaks” every few minutes. Procrastinating and wasting minutes on your screen will only make you end up refreshing your Instagram feed again.
So, is it worth it? The impact social media has on youth is immense- positive and negative! But it’s important to understand that while [Tweet “social media has incredible benefits and is very useful to us, it is still just a tool and not our whole lives!”]