Social Media Impact on Youth

Growing up I did not have a cellphone until end of middle school and I played outside for fun/ entertainment. In order to hangout with friends I would physically walk to their house and ring the doorbell or physically plan a playdate. There were no text messages or phone calls to plan. This is a blessing and a curse. Young people have resulted to no in person communication, it is all over texts, phone calls, emails, or social media. There has been a loss of communication skills as the generations go by.

I was a nanny this past summer to an 11-year-old boy. He had a cell phone (nicer and newer than mine) and would call or text his friends asking to hangout, rather than riding his bike to neighbors houses or just ringing the doorbell. When he would play with his friends, they would play on Xbox for hours and talk through a microphone to each other. This is when it struck me that kids in todays society have a problem with confrontation and interacting with other children in person.

In todays society, kids have developed Internet addictions which end up effecting their health as well as sleep which leads to issues in social settings such as school or workplaces. Kids spend up to 7 hours a day on their phones which is simply not healthy. This can cause kids to become overweight and lose track of time leading to bad time management skills. Kids are obsessing over themselves and measuring their self worth based on these likes and comments which turns into an addiction and determiner of their beauty, worth and popularity. More parents out there should encourage inner beauty, compassion, hard work and being loving to others.

When I was in 5th grade, other kids started to get Facebook accounts. My parents would not allow me to have a Facebook account until I was in high school and even then I would have to give them my username and password. My brother got an Instagram account in 7th grade and a Snapchat in 8th grade. Now these days’ kids have Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts when they are in middle school. It is crazy to me how much society has changed because of social media.

Social media at such a young age is a bad way for kids to interact because they grow up thinking that the amount of likes they get/ followers they have is what matters, when in reality it does not matter. As kids get older (throughout high school and college) social media becomes useful for connections and already developed social skills, but social media becoming popular in young kids could cause future problems such as self confidence, communication skills, time management and/ or health problems. For future generations, we need to change this newly formed way of life and slow down the use of social media sites in such young ages.