Before I even started reading I had already formed an opinion about teens and social media. My opinion was that it seems like they are addicted to all the different types of social media we have out there. Of course, addicted may not be the right term to use but it’s the first word that pops in mind when someone brings up this topic. Maybe drawn to social media would be better phrasing. But I don’t know if it’s just with teens. I find myself drawn to my phone quite often. Either way, I read through the articles provided to find out more!
This first article I read that was given to us is called How Does Social Media Affect Teens. I found this particular article interesting because it seemed to be in the perspective of a parent. The article was filled with information, including a pros and cons list of the internet. Before reading the list I assumed there would be more negatives about the internet than positives, but from what I read they were about even. Some of the cons were ones we here often like, losing face- to- face interaction with people so they struggle having a conversation that isn’t online. Most were similar to this previous con, that we are coming to an era that will struggle socially and is causing different forms of behavior, such as cyber bullying and peer pressure. I would agree that the internet makes it easier to communicate with someone rather than a personal conversation. I’m not sure how peer pressure is completely involved but I’m sure it can be an issue. For the pros, I didn’t think of many of the items that were listed. Like having answers to almost anything at your finger tips, which is super convenient if you ask me. Another thing that was listed is that the internet is building confidence and fighting depression. I found thta hard to believe because all you hear about is how the internet and ruining lives. I found it refreshing to read that it was benefiting people all across the world that struggle with depression and the likes.
The other article I read was completely opposite of the first one. In this article called Social Media Is Fueling a Scary Trend for Teen Anxiety, talked about how the internet is making teen insecurity even worse. This is what I have always heard about social media and the affects it has on all users, but mostly teens. After reading this article I can see how it can make teens feel “unworthy”, but I also agree that it can boost your confidence as well. So for those who step out of their comfort zone and it ends up paying off, it’s probably an awesome feeling. Others may regret the decision to post something entirely, but can’t really take it back. So making smart choices online is always the best option.
The other article I read talked about how social media is affecting your brain Teens: Th is How Social Media Affects Your Brain. I was not expecting to gain the information that I did from this article. I figured it would be like every other article that talks about the internet and how it doesn’t “hurt” your brain completely, but still isn’t good for you. (It does talk about the brain in a paragraph, but not much) Instead, the talked about how receiving a certain amount of likes online shows greater activity in parts of the brain. I would assume this is because we are happy to be getting likes in general. They even discussed peer pressuring, which above I didn’t see how that could happen online, well after reading I see that people may be likely to click something or like it because their friends did or like that stuff too. I now see how that can be a problem for parents with children who participate in social media.
I know science says that the brain is changing and adapting to technology and the internet, which in turn causes positives and negatives, there always will be. I think that the users are more to blame for how teens’ anxiety, etc. are increasing. We blame it on the internet when it’s actually us typing the comment and sharing it for everyone to see. Maybe when we figure out how to use the internet in a positive way that benefits the user and those around them it won’t be as big of an issue.