1. Social Media’s Impact on Teenagers

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Why am I interested?

As we all know, social media has pretty much taken over the world over the past couple of years, but is it doing more harm than good? I know it has taken over my life because most of my day is spent checking my phone to see what others have posted. This topic sparked my interest because it is something I, my classmates, and other teens around me can relate to. I want to research and go beyond the small screen to see how social media has impacted teenagers who use it everyday.

Social media is used for everything these days. When it comes to sharing our lives on a daily basis, communicating with others, and companies promoting their business, social media is the way to go. Teens 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, it can also influence them in a negative way.

What makes it important?

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Social media is now used by millions of people with the majority being young teenagers to communicate with others, but is social media damaging the future of teenagers? An article in The New York Times titled,For the Love of Being ‘Liked’ by Bruce Feiler the author argues that the majority of young teenagers on social media develop an anxiety over the popularity and the likes they receive. Feiler 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.

An article that sparked my attention was, For Teenagers, the Pleasure of ‘Likes’by Roni Caryn Rabin. In the article, Rabin discusses a research study conducted with teenagers and social media. Rabin brought up a point of how social media does not have to be a bad thing. For example Rabin quotes Lauren Sherman, “peer pressure is not always a bad thing…it may play a critical role in teens’ accrual of social and cultural knowledge that’s essential to their development. ‘Conformity is part of adolescence, and some of it is normal,” said Ms. Sherman, who prefers the term “peer influence” to “peer pressure.” “It’s how teenagers learn the rules of how to communicate and how to develop relationships’” (Rabin). Rabin and Sherman make an excellent point, peer pressure posed by other teens in social media can actually impact them in ways that will benefit them in the future. Peer pressure can teach teens life lessons on how to say “no” or know what is right and what is wrong.

Works Cited

Feiler, Bruce. “For the Love of Being ‘Liked’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2014. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.

Rabin, Roni Caryn. “For Teenagers, the Pleasure of ‘Likes’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2016. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.