Social networking sites such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram are changing the youth’s focus from productive activities, to the indulgence of their adolescent egos. Many teenagers growing up today have chosen to pursue accomplishments that hold no meaning, such as getting 100 likes on their photos. What is worse is that the youth subconsciously know that having this-many followers or that-many likes will get them nowhere yet they still devote so much of their time to social networking sites. These social networking sites take a psychological toll, as well as a toll on their social lives.
It also leaves people prone to other dangers such as cyber bullying. Social networking sites have negative psychological effects on the younger people that use them. The American Psychological Association states that, “Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies…” (American Psychological Association). Anybody who uses Facebook, as well as other networking sites, can agree that they all have friends who ‘share’ their pictures multiple times a day and like to fish for compliments with captions such as, “I am so ugly”, so random strangers may comment, “no you’re not you’re beautiful! .
The American Psychological Association also states the overuse of this technology has a negative effect on the health of teens as well, making them prone to anxiety as well as depression. This can also be observed by other users of Facebook, Twitter, etc. we all have those ‘Facebook friends’ who enjoy posting about how miserable they are and how nothing goes their way. Social networking sites also have a negative effect on the person’s education. Studies found that middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades. ” (American Psychological Association). These networking sites are like a slow acting poison, turning our youth into narcissistic, depressed, people who cannot live up to their potential because of this social networking ball and chain. Social networking sites also have a negative effect on the peoples’ social lives that use them.
It prohibits them from actively engaging when out with their friends, cutting conversations short to pull out their phones and check Facebook; to see if anyone liked their photos. From there they become hypnotized and can sit in place uninterrupted like a statue, zoned into their phones. “Another negative impact that social networks have on our relationships is the fact that whilst they might strengthen our weak ties we have with acquaintances and people we don’t see often, they are in fact weakening our strong ties and also bring about physical social isolation.
The term ‘social networking’ misleads people into believing they are being social, “Facebook isn’t considered a social network but more a public phone book or search engine. Contact is minimal and impersonal (Carr, 2010). ” (Network Conference). Using networking sites also puts teenagers at risk of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying has been a growing risk ever since social communication has been introduced.
We see daily arguments and fights on Facebook, and these fights can be damaging to a young person’s overall well-being and has led to suicide on multiple occasions. …another well know case of cyber bulling that resulted in suicide was the case of Megan Meier who was constantly teased tormented and riven to her death from intense cyber bulling. 13 year old Megan began receiving nasty messages from a boy after a few weeks of an online flirtation with him, via her MySpace account, ending with one that suggested ‘the world would be a better place’ without her. Megan, believing she had been rejected by “Josh,” committed suicide in her home. ”Times Topics, Megan Meier. (2011).
The sad part was that Josh was just a fictional character, created by a mother of one of Megan’s former friends. ” (Network Conferece). More harm than good has come out of these social networking sites and something should be done to solve these problems. There are a couple of ideas that I have personally thought about to solve the problems brought upon by these social networking sites, some more drastic than others. The most drastic, and probably most effective solution is the immediate shutdown of Twitter and Tumblr.
Instagram is harmless because it is just people sharing photographs and Facebook will have an age restriction where the person has to be at least 16 years of age, perhaps some sort of identification would need to be entered, such as a permit ID number or a social security number. Twitter and Tumblr are the more harmful ones because their primary focus is feeding the egos and narcissistic tendencies of kids. A second possible solution does not involve any type of shutdown, but rather an age restriction barring younger teens from gaining access to these websites.
No thirteen year old girl should be exposed to pictures of boys with their shirts off and older girls in bathing suits asking everybody for likes. A third solution would be to have people working as moderators and administrators on social networking sites. Where if somebody is causing trouble, a case can be brought up and have their accounts deleted. These are only a few possible solutions that I devised myself, because it can be agreed that social networking does much harm, especially to teenagers and young adults and should not go unmonitored.
Social networking sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram are changing the youth’s focus from productive activities that will hold an importance to the indulgence of their adolescent egos. The amount of time that teenagers put into these social networking sites seriously damages their grades, work ethics, personality and overall well-being. I admit the amount of time it takes me to finish homework is lengthened by periodic Facebook visits. Social networking sites are a plague that need to be dealt with one way or another, or else it will get worse with generations to come.