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Social Media And Its Effects Essay

997 words - 4 pages

Social media has become a major part of our society today. We can say that every aspect of
daily life is influenced by some form of mass communication. There are various forms of social
media, which include pictures, video, texting, television, and social networking websites. These
outlets of communication are able to reach a vast audience in split seconds, allowing diverse
cultures to interact with each other. Because of this almost immediate reaction, it allows for
major pitfalls, such as, the saturation of our youth with bad examples of sexual behavior and
violence, which can lead to an increasing acceptance of violence in society. Researchers have
shown that such behaviors are carried out by mimicking the actions seen and heard on media
outlets. Proponents of social media argue of its benefits in providing teens with a supportive
environment for people with similar issues. They also argue that social media provides
information to teens on medical topics and health concerns. When it comes to social media the
bad influences outweigh the good. Therefore, social media has an adverse affect on
adolescence’s social behaviors.
Social media can be very taxing on a teen’s emotional state. According to the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “facebook
depression”, defined as depression that develops where preteens spend a great deal of time on
social media sites, and then exhibit classic symptoms of depression (AAP 2011). Depression can
be predicted by two factors, which include rejection by peers and isolated teens with little or no
friends (Hartup, 1996). The depression starts when teens are offline and the need for acceptance
and social contact are not met, creating an anxiety that can only be cured from logging onto the
network and interacting with their peers. Another form of emotional distress through social
media is cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages
about a person that is often done anonymously. The content of the mean-spirited messages leave
teens feeling insecure. Extreme cases have even lead to retaliatory physical violence or suicide.
Kowalski (2009), a social psychologist at the Clemson University said, “cyber-bullying has been
shown to cause higher levels of depression and anxiety for victims than traditional bullying and
has also been connected to youth suicide with teens known to engage in reading harmful
comments days before their suicide attempts (Kowalski, 2009).”
In addition to the physical and emotional harms of social media, addiction can also be added
to the list. Teens become addicted to socialization. People find that chatting with other people,
looking into their peers lives and putting it under a microscope, and photo swapping to be
irresistible. Logging on and checking messages become more important than family, eating, and
most other things teens previously found...

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