Social media has dominated our current society; in a world practically ruled by technology, everyone is affected in one way or another. However, it seems that this fact is not always thought about. How are the young people of this generation actually affected by the constant display of their lives on the internet?
Recently, ABC News conducted a completely candid interview with a group of teenage girls aged 15-17. The girls were asked about their personal struggles and thoughts associated with social media. The interview claims that the things said by the girls are the kind of things parents should know about social media.
Dr. Logan Levkoff, an expert in parent-child communication, told ABC News “The challenge with social media is that it doesn’t give a young person freedom to make mistakes without being defined by them”, adding that she believes “social media plays a huge role in causing anxiety for teens.”
The girls interviewed admitted that social media plays a large part in their lives. When asked if any day went by that they did not worry about their online profile, the answer was a collective “no”. 16 year old, Booch O’Connell says, “There’s just constant pressure, I guess, with everyone and social media.” Two of the girls, Anyaa Adams and Cayla Kumar, both told ABC that the comments they receive on social media often cause them to question themselves about things they were originally confident about.
Although social media are online platforms, it can affect us in our offline lives. O’Connell added “Cyberbullying translates to real life, and you have people taunting you while you’re right there.” The rates for cyberbullying in our current society are high as many people practically live online. 87% of today’s youth have witnessed cyberbullying and 34% acknowledge that they’ve experienced it themselves.
While it may not be something they openly speak about, every young person has some sort of opinion on social media. Guadalupe Martinez, an eighth grader at Asheville Middle School gave her overall opinion on social media and its effects, “It can pressure someone to feel like their profile is being judged and seen by everyone, all the time, and can make them feel as if they have to act in a certain way that will make them seem cool.”.
Social media platforms have a large impact on anyone who uses them. It seems to often be treated as a frivolous thing for fun; it’s important that not just parents, but everyone are aware of the effects it can have on each and every one of us who are online.
Story by Krislynn Hawkins