Thursday, 19 January 2017

How Social Media Has Influenced the Youth of Today.

by Harry Leggett


Technology can be a blessing and also a curse. Time wasting or time saving. Increase productivity or profoundly hinder productivity. All of these questions are ones that we can ask ourselves when analysing the modern day and the impact technology has on it. 

Communication has become so simple, easy and accessible but has it become too easy? Are we substituting social interaction for “group calls” or such things. Recently my sister visited Australia for six months, 30 years ago this would mean that I would potentially have zero contact with her over that period of time, however thanks to the power of WhatsApp, Facebook and FaceTime my family and I were able to stay in contact with her on a daily basis. The concept of time space compression, suggests that technology has made communication across the planet so easy.

This can be a real gift, however what are the cons to this. There is a phrase used which goes like this “what goes on the internet, stays on the internet.” When applying for a job or any application, the interviewer will often use Facebook or twitter or other social profiles to see what the person applying gets up to. This means that if there is even a slight relation between the interviewee and an inappropriate post of sorts onto the internet, this can significantly hinder there chances of getting that job or place. This means for todays youth who are creating profiles on social media sites from the age as young as 11, there decisions as a pre-teen can have repercussions on their later life. Is it the job of the parents to restrict their Childs use of social media and use privacy settings provided, or is the job of schools to educate children in the world of social media. 

Another issue which has only become an issue in the last 15-20 years is cyber bullying. A survey was done during 2016 which produced these results. Over half adolescents and teens have been bullied at some point online. More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced threats over the Internet. Over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their mobile phones or on the internet, however we must remember when analysing all the dangers of social media, that it is not always social media which is the problem, it is how we use it and what we use it for. From these statistics it is very easy to conclude that the issue is social media, should we ban it, is it having a positive influence on children and young people? However I believe it is not social media which is the issue. Much like many morale issues and other issues we have to understand the problem and how to combat it. I feel like the misuse of social media should not go unpunished, and we can see in front of our own eyes the ever changing law and seeing the prosecution of misuse of social media starting to gain momentum in its charges. 


Finally I feel that social media can have a strong negative effect on sleep, especially on youth. Recently an experiment was done which gave results showing “College-age adults who check social media sites during typical sleeping hours are more likely to suffer daytime tiredness and cognitive impairment, according to research.” In the same article written by Dr Michael J. Breus wrote “Researchers also found that young adults with the highest rates of social media engagement were at significantly greater risk for depression."


I believe that we are in an age where we are addicted to our mobile phones. We rely on them and they are a core part of our lives. Is this a problem? Conceptually speaking it is not, we are moving on and in this 21st Century we are able to do new and more things with technology, however in reality there are numerous problems with social media and technology which we need to asses before we can say social media is a benefit to society. 

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