The rise of Social Media among Teenagers
As technology evolved and people became more and more tech-oriented, there was the inception of Social Media. It just started with a few web applications that were primarily used for people to share their pictures, events, thoughts, and opinions. But as time flew and smartphones became a necessity for everyone on the planet, social media became a part of everyone’s life.
From businesses to an individual person everybody became part of the phenomena. Now, it has become necessary for brands and budding businesses to have a good reputation online
Social Media Marketing is a domain that is the most relied on now.
Studies state that almost 3.8 billion people around the globe use social media and are an active part of various social media applications. Making an online reputation and being known online has become a ‘thing’ and is going nowhere as of now.
Teenagers on Social Media
Teenagers form a major chunk of the population that is into the usage of social media apps. It is seen that Instagram and Tiktok have the highest audience base in the age group 18 to 25, followed by teenagers aged 13 to 17. Consumption of all these applications is steadily rising amongst teenagers.
Social media is used by teenagers for different purposes and everybody uses it in a distinct way. Sharing their pictures, sharing their artwork online, and at present, these apps have become a medium of making a statement online as well. It has become a medium to express their opinion. They find solace in creating an online identity that is otherwise difficult in real life. Teenagers use this as a platform to publish their talent as well. Making new pages solely dedicating it to their hobbies has become a new obsession for many people. There is constant pressure on teenagers to outdo their friends online. Staying relevant and projecting an interesting life like everyone else becomes the most important aim and they often fall into depression when they are unable to achieve that feat.
With the emergence of a new wave of social media influences and people getting fame and money in the click of these apps, teenagers are highly drawn into believing that reaching the top by having a social media identity is easy.
Social Media also helps them to connect. Connect with everyone and anyone across the globe without any restrictions and make new friends. Social media is a mini representation of the world. Teenagers and people of all age groups from every ethnicity of the world are a part of the platform. This helps people in interacting with each other and gaining knowledge about various cultures. This also helps in making oneself, develop a global sensitivity.
Like every good thing has a bad thing, the same goes here. The challenge remains to strike a balance. Social media has helped the world become inclusive, it has given a new medium for people not just to communicate, but also to criticize and scrutinize each other online sitting behind a screen. Social media is complicated, with so many people on it there are many loopholes in its working methodology and the influence in creates.
Teenage years are delicate, and teens often get into things that they are not supposed to. Teenagers tend to believe everything and anything online. With social media providing a platform to express with a facility to be anonymous, misusing of the platform has been on an all-time high in recent times.
The word addiction is bad itself, whether it is social media, drugs, or anything else, it is never good. Indulging in online sessions for a long time and constantly thinking of the apps harm teenagers’ mental and physical health. After some time, they start believing in the virtual world and get trapped in it. It becomes impossible for them to imagine a life without social media.
There are social media influencers on all social media applications at present. There might be people who are spreading positivity and inspiring people to have a better life, but sometimes people misuse this platform too. Teenagers who are in the quest for answers for so many questions tend to believe that all social media influencers are true. They find it hard to distinguish between people who are faking it and who are living a life that is projected on the media handles. This makes them apprehensive and they end up believing in virtual life.
In a rage to achieve what the screens project, they tend to take up the wrong ways. From becoming hungry for likes to pester the people around to give in to their demands they do all kinds of wrong things.
In a world that’s so diverse, an individual using any platform needs to be careful and understand that there are all kinds of people and there should be a constant check on things that get posted beforehand so that no sentiments get hurt. But a teenage mind is not that mature to understand this. There are cases of cyberbullying every day. In many teenage cyberbullying cases, the victims are obviously teenagers but often the criminal is also a teenager. The percentage of cyberbullying found by a survey conducted by a firm across the globe says that 37 percent of Indian parents believe that there is constant cyberbullying over their child. Brazil and the US are just below them at 27 and 25 percent, respectively.
Teenagers are not capable of handling so much pressure and feel inferior in confiding in their parents. This leads them to make drastic decisions. 43 percent of teenagers were victims of cyberbullying in the year 2019. This not only disturbs the present, many times it leaves a harsh impression on teenagers for life that is difficult to be undone.
People cornering and taking advantage of the other gender has been happening for a long time. With the onset of laws, the crimes have gone low but a stage where it is not existent is still not achieved. Social media gives an edge to such people who take advantage of the platform to hunt down prey online. Women and men alike have been part of the system and teenagers have been the most affected. Teenagers have(are) been the easiest section of people to be exploited. Often, the problem gets exaggerated when teenagers find it embarrassing to seek help and fall hard due to the problem.
The Proper Use
Social media has its own share of bad aspects, but it is kind of impossible to completely keep teenagers away from the medium. And, moreover deleting social media is not the solution. It is significant to teach teenagers to use the medium safely. Productive use can be done under the supervision of parents.
Parents of teenagers need to be kind and open to their children. They should inculcate trust in their offspring and make them believe that they can turn to the parents for any help.
Teenagers must be taught to be careful while approaching someone or something online. The laws of cyberbullying and the probabilities of online frauds should be shared with teenagers for them to be careful ahead.
Social media is just a medium. It has its own pros and cons. Teenagers being the budding adults with their quest for new information might fall into the virtual trap. But at the same time, it can be used for the better as well. Proper supervision and knowledge provided can make the experience of social media helpful. Keeping teenagers aloof from the platforms makes no difference but teaching them to use it properly would benefit the future years as well.