Daily, social media is penetrating into the younger lives, and has become a daily routine for most of them. About 80% of teenagers today have smart phones, and they’d prefer to communicate via text than any other means of communication. Many teenagers today aren’t aware that adolescence is a stage to find, build, and develop skills.
A larger part of the time children and teenagers spend on the web, is most likely to be dedicated to social media; you’ll find them staring at the screen almost all day, irrespective of environment they are in.
Social media has its benefits and risks, and we can’t because of the risks, get rid of social media and deprive ourselves the benefits that come with it. For many teenagers, social media has taken a larger part of their lives and social skills aren’t all that necessary, which is not meant to be.
Teenagers should learn how to improve their social skills; verbally and non-verbally. Teenagers shouldn’t have their best of courtesies only on the internet, ignoring physical interaction.
Pre-dominant use of the social media can limit your ability to communicate properly in physical terms, and while we are not asking teenagers to give up totally on social media, we are asking for a balance; a balance between social media and the physical communication.
Social media helps us to connect with old friends and meet new ones, communicate with family members, share pictures, and have fun. As a teenager, you have the opportunity to contribute to different charity organizations online, get to show your skills and talents to the public space, learn one or two new things, and you can even improve your reading and writing skills via social media. These, and many more, are opportunities we open ourselves to with social media.
However, on the other hand, it could be dangerous.
Many teenagers engage in sexting—sending and receiving messages relating to sex. Some even go ahead to post nude pictures and videos of themselves online, ignoring the fact that these things could go viral and fire-back at them.
Cyberbullying is another risk; it is real and happens to be one of the most dangerous events on the internet, as it could cause a teenager to commit suicide. Cyberbullying is done by threatening or intimidating someone with improper messages; it could result to depression, isolation, hatred for oneself, or even suicide!
Recently discovered, is the Social Media depression. Many teenagers now compare their pictures with other pictures on the internet; why theirs aren’t getting enough “likes” like that other person who isn’t all that cute; why they have very few followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, despite the amazing updates they make. It makes them depressed, probably because they have little or nothing to worry about. This social media depression is common among teenagers within the age range 13 and 17.
The truth here is that many of these teenagers are not aware that whatever they do on the social media now can replay into their futures and cause a serious disaster.
Your social skills needs to be developed. Communicate with people outside the screen; master the eye-to-eye contact. You’ll be amazed how much these things will help you later in life.
Learn to create a balance.