Pros and Cons of Social Media Essay Example


Do you ever spend hours and hours on social media? Checking how many likes or comments you got on your most recent post? Most people hate to admit it, but everyone does it. Almost every single night is faced down with a picture from instagram or snapchat, and who knows what's happening on that screen and who may be behind it. This has turned our society upside down to the extent that it is now our preferred everyday communication. Although social media can be used in many positive ways and a tool to stay connected to those around us, the many negative impacts it has on young adolescents cannot be ignored.

Have you ever come across an instagram post that you really admired? What did you like about that post? Was it the way the person looked? Where the person was? What the person has? I think most people might respond yes to this question and that may not be a problem unless you become obsessed with trying to keep up with other people. Did you know according to Dove, 6 out of 10 girls from around the world admit to avoiding at least one everyday activity because of feeling concerned about their looks due to low self-esteem? This is most common with girls because they are constantly comparing themselves to many celebrities or models. Teenagers mistakenly view these as there model of what is supposed to be normal, which can be destructive to there self-worth. 

Today’s teenagers are exposed to photos that portray perfection. Social media sites such as Instagram have a tendency to showcase idealized body types through images that have been edited and are therefore unrealistic. This can also affect how teenagers “see” their bodies which may cause them to feel insecure about their physical appearance. As you can see, this can be a real big problem when young people have difficulty separating reality and fantasy. Now that we've talked about low self esteem, let's talk about another important issue. 

Sleep Issue

Did you know that according to Today’s Parent adolescents 10-17 are supposed to be getting 9-10 hours of sleep each night? Now let's be realistic, how many people actually get 9-10 hours of sleep? I would say not many people since we are to busy scrolling through social media so it is not really surprising that we are getting less sleep than expected to. If you lying awake restless in bed, you're most likely going to look for a distraction and, since most of us sleep with our phones nearby, social media is able to fix this need. So, the more awake you are, the more you will continue to browse and the less able you are to fulfill a good night sleep.

Research has shown that people who visit social media many times throughout the week are most likely to experience sleep problems than a person who doesn’t regularly check social media. Studies have also said that more than half of adolescents are looking at social media on their phones prior to going to bed. They are also getting on average less sleep than their peers who don't go on there phones before bed. After spending that much time on social media how do you expect to properly function the next day at school. Forget the fact that you most likely didn't finish your homework, think about how unfocused and unmotivated youll be for the school day. And as if that wasn't bad enough, lack of sleep can also affect your interactions with others. 

Social Isolation, Lack of Social Skills, and Social Media

What do social isolation, lack of social skills, and social media have in common? Where do I start? Social isolation basically means creating a situation where there is lack of contact between an individual and society. It would be difficult to deny constant use of social media sometimes prevents people from interacting with others in a personal way. Interacting with people sometimes strangers on social media, cannot take the place of personal interactions that people have in real life. Hiding behind a screen creates that isolation for many people. We use social media thinking it’s what connects us to others, when in fact it takes us out of the present moment and our lives. This may make us feel more isolated.

Developing social skills also helps teenagers to establish and maintain friendships. Due to the fact that adolescents spend lots of time interacting over social media, many of them are establishing social interaction skills that don’t necessarily apply to the offline world. While of course social media can help nature and strengthen relationships, it’s important that teenagers also learn how to have meaningful face to face conversations with people. So to answer the first question, simply put social media creates social isolation which discourages the development of social skills.

So to rap this up, while it is true that social media is not necessarily all bad, there is no denying the fact that extended use of social media definitely has some negative consequences. I took the time to focus on three of what I consider to be the most devastating consequences of social media. Low self-esteem, lack of sleep, and lack of social skills prevent young adolescents from developing into fully functioning successful adults. Don't panic, i'm not saying you can't go on social media, it’s just very important to limit the time spent on it so you can have a balance between reality and social media. Let me end with a quote by Alexis Ohanian “it takes discipline not to let social media steal your time” Be disciplined.

 

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