“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.”-Joy Baer Social Media as described by google are websites and applications used for social networking. Many adolescents use Facebook, Myspace, and Instagram, twitter etc. as a form of communication without being explained the many risk factors. Over time more and more proposed threats with teens using social networks has arisen. Social media negatively impacts teens by exposing them to higher risk activities such as cyberbullying, sexting and a lack of privacy.
“Most risks fall into the following categories: peer-to-peer; inappropriate content; lack of understanding of online privacy issues; and outside influences of third party advertising groups.” (O'Keeffe) The first official social network sites was Friendster. Friendster came out around 2002 before Friendster was created there were dating sites but no real publicizing sites. After Friendster came (in chronological order) came LinkedIn, Myspace, and Facebook. Today in counting there are well over 200 sites. With technology being so broad and constantly improving these networks can be accessed almost anywhere by any person of any age.
In addition, to these networks being accessible the threat is not the site itself but the misuse by adolescent users. “Cyberbullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing or hostile information about another person.” (O'Keeffe) Cyberbullying is statistically proven to decrease adolescent’s self-esteem. Between the ages thirteen years old to eighteen years old are when youth are still trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in in society. Cyberbullying alters the era of self-esteem building. Sometimes teens do not realize just how cruel they can be. For example, there was a girl who attended high school with me; she was constantly being harassed on twitter. The bullying spread from one person to groups of people. The people bullying her didn’t even know her name. The bullying started online and then transferred to school. It got to the point where she did not even show up to school some days and it further led to a court case. Some parties that participated in the harassment where charged and put on probation and made to do community service hours as well.
Teens don’t realize all activities and words have consequences. There have been teens who have committed suicide as a result of being bullied. The viral embarrassment is the hardest part about being cyberbullied because once it’s posted everyone can view it. “… Cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and tragically, suicide.” (O'Keeffe)
Furthermore, teens that are not accepted by their peers tend to seek attention by exposing themselves through sexting. “Sexting can be defined as sending receiving or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images via cell phone, computer, or other digital devices.” (O'Keeffe) Sexting leads to teens actually...