Communication and information technology has rapidly changed over the last 20 years with the emergence of social media as a key development. Social media impacts the young users positively by allowing networking and learning opportunities which grow their social skills while it can also have a negative impact such as addiction and exposure to harmful content that may contribute to mental health problems and wastage of time.
Social media promotes networking and social interactions among young users, which develops their self-confidence and social skills. Online social networking offers young users with many positive opportunities to keep social connections and learn with an almost endless array of interests. Young users can connect with people that share similar interests whom they would never have met in real life (Ali et al. 369).
A lot of social media content offers a wide range of entertainment through watching videos, reading blogs as well as viewing pictures many of which presents educational benefits (Ali et al. 369). Sites such as YouTube can be valuable educational resources that can be referenced as a beneficial source of information that young users can utilize to refine or develop skills such as language.
Generally, the internet is an unregulated sphere; hence social media may not have laws or morals to abide thus exposing young users to harmful contents that can cause mental breakdowns, depression and other mental issues. Often, young users are exposed to gore images of accidents, murder victims, nudism, video footages of violent scenes and explicit sexual content. These materials are easily accessible and their consumption over a long time may affect the mental well-being of users (Akram and Kumar 351).
Furthermore, too much use of social media leads to addiction that further interferes with one’s normal routine and daily life activities (Akram and Kumar 352). The more young users spend time on it as it may generate a reward or feeling of happiness, the more the practice becomes addictive hence one may end up spending hours on social media sites interfering with their daily lives, events, and activities.
Social media has enormous effects and influence over young user’s lives including aiding networking and educational benefits but also can be addictive and cause mental harm through consumption of harmful content.
Akram, W. & Kumar, R. “A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society.” International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, vol.5, No. 10 (2017): 347-354.
Ali, Asad, Iqbal, Anam & Iqbal Kanwal. “Effects of Social Media on Youth: A Case Study in the Unversity of Sargodha.” International Journal of Advanced Research, vol. 4, no.11 (2016): 369-372.