Influence of Social Media on Youth Essay Example
Our adolescents today are being besieged by the images that the media is producing to their vulnerable eyes. On average teenagers can spend up to nine hours a day on their phone, majority of this time being on social media. By spending this much time with something each day they become affixed to it, social media becomes their new, obsessive, ‘best friend’. Even without realising, social media is controlling the way they have come to think. It gives out specific ideals for what the stereotypical teenager/person in general should look like or act like, crushing our next generation mentally. Social media causes the distortion of body image, violent activity, and the increase of sexual assault cases.
One of the dominating destructions of mental health is the effect that social media is having on teenagers. It is imprinting an image into their minds for the stereotype of teenagers. A correlation was found in a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, showing that teenagers who spend much of their time on social media are 2.2 times more likely to have body image concerns/eating disorders. Due to these body image concerns there has been a great uprising in cosmetic surgery. Social media has also caused depression statistics to rise significantly, this then leading to an increase in suicide due to the images produced on social media. Shown from the World Health Organization, approximately 1.53 million people will die from suicide, majority are most likely to be teenagers from the negative impacts of social media.
Another principal issue, is the increase in violent activity in teenagers, again from the effects of social media. A senior lecturer of criminology from Middlesex University, Dr Simon Harding, has come to the discovery that social media is being used more and more by gangs, “We started noticing gangs using social media four years ago and since then [the numbers using it] have doubled every year … it’s hard to quantify that because there are no statistics or research, but every street gang I am familiar with now has an online presence.” We are allowing our children to grow up in a world of violence, which they could possibly be causing and/or interacting with. If we stand here and do nothing about it, it is as if we are encouraging the violence.
Finally, another horrific issue that we are just letting happen, sexual assault. There has been a rapid increase of sexual assault. Social media’s role in the amount of increase of sexual assault, is by 300%. It was also found that half of all sex crimes first started on a form of social media. Our children could be communicating with rapists right under our noses. People are able to create a shield of their identity on social media, making it unable for susceptible teenagers to see the danger in who they are talking to. To add to this, it was also found that 29% of the relationships formed, which turned into sex crimes were founded on social media.
In conclusion, social media is the originator of all this negative activity and more. It is causing our children to form deep self-hatred, be apart of violent activities, and be more likely to be connected to someone dangerous leading to sexual assault. Social media is ripping our lives apart, right in front of our eyes. If we do not, at least monitor our teenager’s activity, this will grow to become infinitely worse. If we do not do something it is as if we are encouraging them to become enthralled in social media. Do you want to feel responsible if this horrendous activity reaches your child and you cannot pull them back?