The Influence of Social Media on Youth

Published: 2021-09-13 23:55:10
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Category: Media

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With the exponential proliferation of technology, gadgets such as smartphones are ubiquitous. Even children as young as one to two years old are already captivated by electronic tablets and the like. As such, this develops a heavy dependence on such devices from a young age. This does situation does not improve as children grow older and enter their youth. In fact, they become more inseparable with their smartphones especially, as they no longer have so much supervision from adults and parents. Which begs the question – what are some of the dangers of this addiction? Youths are at their most impressionable stage of life and are easily influenced by external sources, social media being one of the largest forms of influence. Thus I agree that social media has made youth vulnerable.
However, some detractors may argue that social media has made youths more aware and knowledgeable about critical matters, due to the ease in spreading information to the masses. Thus social media platforms have not made youths vulnerable. In fact, being more informed about such issues make youths less helpless due to the fact that they now know how to react and formulate their own opinions. Late last year, a video of a boy named Keaton Jones had been posted, showing the boy crying after being bullied in school. This video garnered much support for the victim from celebrities, on Twitter, such as Justin Bieber and Chris Evans. By taking a stand against bullying others, these celebrities help to teach and warn others against bullying, as well as encourage other victims that their lives matter despite what bullies may say. Anti-bullying companies also help reach out to victims of abuse, letting youths know of their existence through social media. Because of the social media platforms, youths can receive help and encouragement through different struggles, making them more protected than ever.Unfortunately, I beg to differ. Although there are such cases of the community standing up against acts to wrongdoing, so as to protect those that need assistance, most of bullying goes unnoticed or unattended to. In fact, social media has actually created another outlet for bullying and targeting helpless youth, and this can come in many forms. Be it crude insults targeted at one through direct messages, or spreading an image of someone with the intention to deface his reputation – such acts certainly contribute to the hurt and attacks that youths may encounter because of social media. In the case of Keaton Jones, some people actually discovered racist online behaviour, mainly in the form of pictures posted, exemplified by his parents. This led to backlash on the family as well as Keaton Jones, sparking outrage and even leading to cyber bullying where people were going so far as to sending Keaton death threats. Thus social media has not created more defences for youths to seek aid, but has created a platform for even more harm, making youths more vulnerable.

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