The Young Generation and Social Media
Many teenagers use social media sites to connect with friends and family. While most teens say these sites have a mostly positive effect on them, some also report negative effects.
The most common online platforms teens use are YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Majorities also say they ever use Facebook, but the share of teens who say this has fallen sharply since 2014-15.
Many teens are using social media to kill time, but they also have an interest in sharing content. For example, they like to share stories that show what happens in their day at school and how they are feeling. They also use these platforms to connect with their friends and family. But these platforms are not without their problems. More than six-in-ten say they think they have little or no control over how their personal information is used by social media companies.
Some of the most popular social media sites allow users to upload video clips that are shared with a wider audience. Brands that use these videos can create a sense of authenticity, which can appeal to Gen Z audiences. These types of videos can also be a great way to showcase new product releases or exclusive promo codes.
The use of social media can have malignant effects on young people. This can include feelings of loneliness and isolation, depression, and anxiety. It can also cause problems with self-esteem. One study found that more time spent on social media led to higher levels of non-suicidal self-injury in teens. Another study found that more time spent online led to lower levels of life satisfaction a year later.
Parents can help their children avoid these risks by modeling responsible social media behavior and encouraging them to balance social media with in-person interactions. They can also encourage them to seek help if they are having difficulty regulating their social media use. Some of the symptoms of social media addiction are checking for notifications first thing in the morning and last thing at night, avoiding in-person interactions, and feeling stressed or anxious when their devices are not working.
Online hate groups use the internet to spread messages that promote hatred, racism, and other forms of discrimination. These groups also seek to recruit members and spread their propaganda. This can have a negative effect on the youth.
Hate speech directed at a marginalized group on social media platforms is a serious problem and merits an urgent response centred on human rights. The United Nations has established a comprehensive agenda to combat cyberhate and other types of discriminatory behaviour.
Although some scholars suggest that promoting hatred on social media platforms reflects individuals’ malevolent impulses, an alternative explanation considers the motivations of like-minded culprits. The approval-seeking theory suggests that people collaborate with and perform online hate activities primarily to accrue gratifications from others. They gain this through the recognition of in-group partisans and from those they develop intensely interpersonal relationships with online.
The young generation is using social media to differentiate themselves from their predecessors and influence society in unprecedented ways. In particular, they are leveraging digital technology to challenge law enforcement practices and demand transparency. This has become a major cause of concern for the police, and it should be addressed judiciously.
Displays of violence and disrespect on social media often trigger emotional reactions among young people and can lead to real-life incidents. Professionals and young people’s advocates report examples of girls being threatened or attacked online, as well as reports of gang members posting content that displays and incites serious incidents of gun violence.
These incidents are usually linked to youths who grew up in poverty and had troubling pasts that include neglect or abuse. However, blaming these events on social media may be misleading.
Lack of Privacy
Young people are aware of the fact that social media sites share their personal information with third parties and, in some cases, use it for advertising. They are also aware that these platforms collect data on them, but they feel they can’t control the privacy of their data or how it is used.
Parents and caregivers should model responsible social media behavior for youth by limiting their own use of the platform and talking with them about the benefits and risks. They should also help youth understand the concept of data privacy and seek help if they or their family experiences problems with social media. In addition, healthcare practitioners should routinely screen for problematic social media usage and address it with the family. This includes the monitoring of content and length of time spent online.