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The Problems Accompanying The Use Of Social Media By Teenagers

1508 words - 6 pages

Today, roughly two billion computers and two billion phones are in use (Mathews). With this, come almost four billion people with the opportunity to use the internet and to connect to social media. Linda Ogbevoen states that “with digital media’s increase in functionality and decrease in price, more and more rely on digital media for work, play, and socializing.” Over the past decade social media has become more and more popular, thus causing it to become part of people’s everyday lives. Along with the widespread of technology today, various people of all ages throughout the world have started to log onto social media sites. The most prominent users of social media have been shown to be adolescents. As a result of the excessive use of social media, adolescents have encountered problems such as internet bullying (“cyberbullying”), privacy concerns, and internet addiction.
One of the risks that is often seen throughout social media is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is known as a way of deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person (O’Keefe, Clarke-Pearson). Everyday adolescents are given the opportunity to communicate with endless amounts of people online. This opportunity not only enhances the risk of cyberbullying, but also increases the amount of people that can view the cyberbullying. The most common form is known as peer-to-peer cyberbullying. This means that the person being targeted by the act most likely knows their “bully” personally. With the peer-to-peer form being most common, it is often seen that the acts occur offline just as much as they occur online. Dr. Rebecca Mathews conducted a survey as of 2010 asking online users about their experiences on social media. Mathew’s survey reported that eighty-six percent of her participants currently used social media, and that twenty-eight percent reported having a bad experience on those sites. It was also shown that many of the participants specified that their bad experiences came from bullying by the opposite sex. The word “sexting” often appears when cyberbullying and the opposite sex are put together. Sexting is defined by Gwen O’Keefe MD and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson MD as “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images via cell phone, computer, or other digital devices.” Sexting and cyberbullying have many things in common. When a “sext” is sent from one person to another, the person who received the message now has it in their possession, and with it has the opportunity to make it public or keep it private. Twenty percent of teens have sent a sext in their lifetime (O’Keefe, Clarke-Pearson), so therefore, those twenty percent of teens have been at risk of cyberbullying. When, or if, the sext becomes public, those teens who posted the sext are at risk of facing felony charges. While the teens who posted it are at risk of felony charges, the teens who sent the text are most...

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