LIMITING TEENS USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Argument Paper

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There is no doubt that in today’s society teenagers use social media on a daily basis. Whether it is for communicating with their peers or posting a status about how their day is going, social media is now implemented into the everyday routine of a teenager. For many teenagers, social media may help them have better communication with their friends as well as a better understanding of how to interact with others. Teenagers are always on their phones and constantly compare themselves to others on social media, bully each other, and crave the attention social media has to offer. Rather than social media having a positive impact on teens, the excessive use of social media may lead to a negative impact mentally and emotionally for teenagers. Teens are also loosing sleep because social media has taken a toll on their mental health.

TEENS FACE LOSS OF SLEEP

According to a blog post published by The Guardian, “Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act” author June Eric Udorie argues that teens lose about two hours of sleep every night because of the pressures of social media. The author believes that teenagers are emotionally attached and “invested” with social media and that the loss of sleep will make teens prone to anxiety and depression. Udorie brings up the point of FOMO or “fear of missing out”; teenagers feel the need to always check their social media accounts to make sure they are always in the loop (Udorine). Therefore, due to the pressures teenagers face, it is important for parents to limit the use of social media for their children. Due to the negative implications excessive use has to offer, by limiting the use of social media the teen it can lower their risks or even prevent their risks of having negative effects like depression and low self-esteem.

Although it is argued that social media can be beneficial for a teenagers social life and communication skills, it can lead to negative effects such as low self-esteem and depression which is why it is important to limit the amount of time spent teenagers spend online. Due to the fact that in today’s society teenagers are constantly on social media, they have become accustomed to comparing themselves to others and seeking approval from their peers.

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DEPRESSION AT A HIGH

To prevent teenagers from being negatively effected is by limiting their time spent on social media. In the blog post by Suren Ramasubba titled, “Influence of social media on teenagers”, he states “Recent studies have shown that comparisons are the main cause of Facebook depression; the study showed that down-comparison (comparing with inferiors) was just as likely to cause depression as up-comparison (comparing with people better than oneself).” Ramasubba discusses how the popular platform Facebook can lead to teen depression due to recent studies being conducted. With this evidence it is important to have the parental figure become involved and limit the use of social media, the teen can focus on other aspects of their life, such as schoolwork, rather than having the majority of their day spent online.

LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA USE

Social media is now used by millions of people with the majority being young teenagers to communicate with others, but it is now becoming clear that social media may be damaging the future of teenagers. An article in The New York Times titled, “For the Love of Being ‘Liked’” by Bruce Feeler, the author, argues that the majority of young teenagers on social media develop an anxiety over the popularity and the likes they receive. Feeler includes a quote from Thai government psychiatrist Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn stating, ‘”If they feel they don’t get enough likes for their selfie as expected,” she said, “they decide to post another, but still do not receive a good response.” She added, “This could affect the development of the country in the future as the number of new-generation leaders will fall short,’” (Feiler). Feiler argues strongly in the article, that because of such need for likes, teens will become dependent on it and will feel as if without the approval of social media teens will not be successful in the future. Due to the constant pressures of social media, it has becoming too overwhelming with can lead to a disadvantage in the teenagers education and future, which is why the use of social media should be limited so that is no longer the main priority of the teen (Feiler). For example, when a teenager is addicted to video games, the parent can limit the time that the teen can use it so it does not take up their entire day and lets them focus on other tasks.

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KEEPING FRIENDSHIPS

Although most parents believe that social media is important for their children due to the fact that it can lead to more friendships and better develop their child’s communication skills. Parents also believe that teenagers will be motivated to learn more about themselves and share interests with friends they meet via online, because here they interact and receive feedback from one another; however, most of teenagers prefer to interact via social networks rather than meet their friends face to face. Teenagers will often use social network to express their feelings and let emotions out. For example, in the article, “The Negative Effect of Social Media on Society and Individuals” author Brian Jung discusses how social media sites can make it more difficult for teenagers to distinguish the difference between the meaningful friendships made out in the real world, and the numerous casual friendships made on social media. Jung countinues his argument by saying how teenagers focusing so much of their time energy on these less meaningful friendships on social media, their more important relationships out in the real world will weaken and may not be as important in the long run (Jung).

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Not only does excessive social media use cause a lack of focus in friendships, teenagers are also missing out on communication skills. For instance, Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist and author of The Big Disconnect, states, “There’s no question kids are missing out on very critical social skills. In a way, texting and online communicating — it’s not like it creates a nonverbal learning disability, but it puts everybody in a nonverbal disabled context, where body language, facial expression, and even the smallest kinds of vocal reactions are rendered invisible” (Steiner-Adair). Steiner makes the point that teens using social media will lack the skills to communicate in person, where these skills are not learned and cannot be taught through the online platform. With that being said, in order to prevent the worse risks, giving explanation and understanding about the dangerous of social media is one of some ways that parents can do to prevent the addiction in teens. Parents also should have good communication with their children by being teens’ friends.

CYBER-BULLYING

Another strong reason as to why social media should be limited in teenagers is how cyber-bullying has become an issue recently. It has become more prominent due to how easy it is bully another person online. Since one is behind the screen and does not have a face-to-face interaction, then there isn’t the immediate exchange emotion where it is seen that someone’s feelings get hurt as well as when the bully can hide behind the screen and not be confronted. As we all know cyber-bullying can lead to negative effects towards teenagers like, depression, anger, and low-self esteem which can lead to the teen avoiding school as well as not interact with others (Effects of cyber-bullying). In the article “Social Media and Social Anxiety” author, Dr. Donna Wick brings up the point that cyber-bullying is most common in teenage girls, who typically don’t like confrontation in real life which leads to bullying online and causing harm on others emotionally (Wick). Due to these measures it is important for the parents to communicate to the child the severity and seriousness of cyber-bullying.

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WHAT CAN BE DONE?

As we all know social media is now part of a teenagers daily routine; however, excessive use of social media can cause negative effects such as depression, anxiety, and low self esteem issues. Although some argue that social media can be beneficial for teenagers because it helps them communicate with their peers and with others easily, the effects social media has on teens is highly negative. Therefore, it is important that the parents or parental figures take action to prevent these negative effects or low the risks from happening. A good way for the parents to get involved is by having the parents to set a good example in the home setting and overall surroundings (Emhke). For example parents can set an example of what a moderate time on the computer can be. Most parents are on their phones a little often as well and check their phones or our email too much, so it is important to consider the teen and set an example. Parents or families can also start having technology-free zones in the house and technology-free hours when no one uses the phone, including the parents.

With these actions the teen will face more interactions that are not online, causing communication development and having a bond in the family by actually interacting with each other. It is important for the parental figures to take action and help better the future of their children and the teens of our society. By overall keeping a positive atmosphere online there will hopefully be a decrease in negative affects to teens and their constant use of social media.

Works Cited

“Effects of cyber bullying.” Effects of cyberbullying — Family Lives. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Ehmke, Rachel. “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers | Child Mind Institute.” Child Mind Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Feiler, Bruce. “For the Love of Being ‘Liked’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2014. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Jung, Brian. “The Negative Effect of Social Media on Society and Individuals.” The Negative Effect of Social Media on Society and Individuals | Chron.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Ramasubbu, Suren. “Influence of Social Media on Teenagers.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 May 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Steiner-Adair, Catherine, and Teresa Barker. The big disconnect: protecting childhood and family relationships in the digital age. New York: Harper, 2013. Print.

Udorie, June Eric. “Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act | June Eric Udorie.” Opinion. Guardian News and Media, Sept. & oct. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Wick, Donna. “Social Media and Social Anxiety.” Mind to Mind Parent. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

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