BY;- Abubakar Nu’uman.
Social media has been ingrained into our society today, to the extent that it is virtually impossible for people to take you serious, if you are not in any social media platform. In this 21st century, everyone is now on social media—young, old, rich, poor, male, female and all sundry. Everyone is always in a frenzy when it comes to socializing online. Even the corporate world has jumped into the bandwagon and companies also adopt social media in posting updates and advertise their businesses
There are many social networks to choose from; some of the popular ones include Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. As the pervasiveness of social media keeps on spreading all over the world, there have been mixed feelings about these networks and how they influence the youth. So, how does social media affect the youth?
To answer this question, we have to look at both the positive and negative impacts of social media on the youth. Going with the former first, social media has reduced the world to a global villag, youth can interact with people from other parts of the country by just a click of the button.
Through these interactions, youth can share ideas, acquire information and also be exposed to many opportunitie.
The social media also provides avenue and opportunity to make new friends and also allows us to maintain old friends. With social media,one can trace their former friends by simply typing their names or just indicating the school they attended. Then, the network will do all the dirty works and link them to all people they went to school with.
Apart from just socializing, the social networks have become frontiers for the corporate world to advertise their goods and services. They may either do it directly or pay celebrities to advertise their products for them. Therefore, social media offers an array of opportunities for youths. Popular youths can be hired by corporations to be their brand ambassadors online.
In addition, they can earn a considerable amount of money by running podcasts and vlogs. Social media is also an avenue that they can use to show their talents. Youths can also run businesses through social media. They may share whatever goods and services they offer to friends and in groups and for a wider coverage, they may sponsor their posts to reach more people.
It is also an avenue where people can express their diverse opinions. People who are naturally shy may say whatever they wish in public forums, without public-fright. It is also a cheaper means of communication. What is required is just internet bandwidth and a few keystrokes and users can communicate with virtually anyone on earth. Social media has also made it possible for people to work from anywhere on earth. This is referred to as virtual teaming. Though hired in the same organization, these virtual workgroups operate from different parts of the earth thus making their communication done online.
On the flip side, the internet is an unregulated world that has no form of morals or laws to abide to. Youths are exposed to gore images of murder victims, accidents, rape cases or even video footages of gun shootings, violence, verbal outbursts, nudism and explicit sexual content. All these gore content are in the domain of youths and when consumed for a longtime can lead to serious mental breakdowns. For instance, they will start having anxiety attacks and fear of the real world. Whatever they see is registered in their minds and they believe that the world is a bad place, but that is not entirely true. More than 90% of the earth is a safe haven with so many untapped opportunities.
Too much social media also leads to addiction. Society today is full of people seating next to each other, not talking, but just staring at their phones. Youths are spending more time with their social media friends than with their families, friends and loved ones. When they wake up, the first thing they check is their social media accounts. Before they go to sleep, the last thing they check.
In modern life, social media is developing fast. It is used by many people all over the world. Social media is especially very popular among the young. However, there are many young people who cannot control themselves and are addicted to social media. Addiction to social media has many serious effects, including poor study habits, living away from reality and bad health.
First, addiction to social media makes the youth have bad grades in studies. Because of social media, many students who were excellent students have become bad students. Every day, these students come to class, but they do not focus on studying. While their professors are teaching, they are using cellphones to surf Facebook, Instagram or chat with friends on Messenger. They always check their cellphones every five minutes to see what is going on on social media. If the young uses social media in classes, how can they listen to their teachers and understand what their teachers are saying? Moreover, not only at school but also at home these young students who are addicted to social media do not do exercise or read the new lesson before going to school, because they are busy with social media. For example, Khanh, a young girl from Vietnam, is addicted to social media, In the past, she was a hard-working student. She always did all homework and prepared for new lessons, so she got A grades. However, everything has changed since she started using social media too much. In classes, instead of listening to the professor, she always posts selfies on Facebook and Instagram. At home, with the attraction of social media, she continues using her cellphone and does not study or do assignments. As a result, in the mid-term exam and final exam, she only got C and D grades. Addiction to social media causes a bad habit in studies. It can change a young person from an excellent student to a bad one.
Young people who are addicted to social media can live far away from reality. Because of using a cell phone all day, they will not have time for outdoor activities such as playing sports or camping. Instead of going out to meet friends or talk to their parents, these people love chatting with friends on social media. They will just stay at home and update their news on social media. They post status or photos to share with their friends on social media. Gradually, they will only live in a virtual world. Amanda, a teenager in America, is a clear example. When her mother bought her a cell phone for her 18th birthday, she became a person addicted to social media. She did not go swimming with her friends during weekends. She rarely talked with her parents. During family vacation, she always took photos of food and places she visited and notified her friends on Facebook or Instagram. Now, she posts her feeling status with a photo on social media everyday. Her life is updated frequently on social media. Social media is regarded as the world she lives in, the world in which we only communicate through icons, comments and likes.
And last but not least, using social media too much will have a serious impact on health. Because the young are addicted to social media, they will go to bed late to read news on Facebook or chat with friends. Staying up late is really harmful to the health, especially, the brain. If the young do not sleep enough, their health will be affected seriously by losing weight or always feeling tired. Their brains also will not work effectively and they will be in sleepy condition. Moreover, addiction to social media can cause depression in the young. When the young use social media, they will see other people on social media. If the young see other people who are better than them in appearance or talent, they can feel inferior. These young people can envy the people who are more famous or intelligent than them, and they also feel ashamed of themselves. They always wonder why they cannot be excellent, talented or beautiful like others. Therefore,make them to to enviably do beyond their capacity.
People stay in contact with their distant friends, relatives and other influential people in their lives, which would have otherwise been impossible. Hence social media proves to be an excellent platform to promote and facilitate innumerable things.
The Expectation of Fame and the Importance of Being Liked
The social media, as knowledgeable or impressive it is, has side effects going far ends. As we start getting acquainted to it, it slowly starts pulling us deeper into it. We don’t even understand when it becomes an addiction!
Many researchers have analyzed behavior of the people who are highly addicted to the social networking sites. When a post receives likes and comments, people really seem to like it and when it happens otherwise, they experience withdrawal. Many people portray an unreal or fake personality just for the desire to be liked.
We seem to be forgetting that there are people with just 10 likes but have thousands of friends,
There are people with 100+ likes,yet incredibly lonely
Vast majority of female users of social media post their nude pictures while guys who flaunt become spendthrift,yet struggling with debts.
The fact i that Social media has created an outlet for narcissistic behaviors where self worth is determined by amounts of likes received.
We live in a society where if you don’t post it,then u don’t have it.
A society where if you don’t post it, then it never happened.
Now the question is, can we rely on the information of a person uploaded on the social sites? The answer is ‘No’,
Good thing comes without bearing consequences. As effective as social media is, there is a high chance that you are using it for wrong purposes. People are fond of wasting hours over hours on social sites acquiring zero productive information. Discount commercials influence people to spend unnecessarily.
Most sites used to have an age limitations earlier, but now with that being gone, youngsters are getting indulged in surfing at an increasing rate. And due to their immature age, they usually fall prey to the cyber bullying. This causes severe effect on the mental and emotional health of the youth.
Lack of privacy on the social sites has turned out to be the most threatening thing. Mostly the young generation is unaware of the policies and end up uploading personal information on social sites. The commercial sites have access to the private information and tend to misuse it.
In spite of being aware of the threats of social sites, why are we turning a blind eye?
The answers left to you to reason wisely!!