Ah, social media. The teenager’s #fave and the parent’s worst nightmare. What makes social media good or bad? Can social media be a healthy thing if used correctly? As a teenager growing up in the digital age, here are my thoughts.
Most teenagers adore social media. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Tumblr— they’re the staples of the current high school experience. It’s how information gets around, and how we stay connected to the loop. Despite what naysayers might say, social media definitely has its highlights, especially in today’s modern age.
Social media, at its core, provides us a way to connect to people all around the world through updates, photos, and stories. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people you can’t physically be close to, and it provides an outlet to talk about what’s going on in your life or share your obsessions. I’ve discovered many TV shows through social media (*cough* The Umbrella Academy *cough*). It’s also a great way to show off your creativity, whether it’s art, writing, TikTok dances, or anything in between.
It’s also surprisingly informative. You can easily access information on the state of affairs in the world through social media, and stay connected to politics. Information is powerful, and it’s important to be educated when it comes to the world around us. While information found on social media platforms might have to be taken with a grain of salt, it’s still a good way to learn about real-world problems and start thinking about how to solve them.
The modern world is also growing more and more digital. People are creating content and reaching audiences through social media platforms regardless of age, and they’re creating businesses, such as artists taking commissions through the internet, or podcast creators generating revenue through websites like Patreon. It’s a great way to promote your talents! Social media is especially good for young content creators, allowing them put themselves out there, which is something that the world hasn’t seen before. I’m honestly more than excited to see the way things evolve from here.
While social media has plenty of wonderful things about it, it’s also important to address the potential downsides to using it. It can be dangerous if not used with safety in mind, and it can also be very bad for self-esteem, especially during teenage years.
Social platforms’ currency is attention. Likes, comments, retweets, and such. However, when you don’t always get that attention, or you lose followers, it can be bad for your self-esteem. Teenagers want to be liked and acknowledged as worth listening to, but when no one listens, it’s a downer. The important thing to remember when using a social media platform is that your importance isn’t based off of popularity or followers. Don’t worry about numbers and do things because they make you happy.
Cyber-bullying is also a new problem that can occur due to social media. It’s easier to target people behind a screen, and to make matters worse, it’s also easier for more people to join in. However, there are solutions. If cyber-bullying is occurring, reporting people and/or blocking them is a good deterrent, and if necessary, you can always deactivate or log off for a while. Social media shouldn’t be bad for your mental health. Ever.
There’s also a good number of dangers that come with social media. Caution is a must when sharing things online, which means posting minimally about your location or other personal bits of information. It’s also important to be wary of talking to strangers online, especially on dating sites, because there’s always the chance that you’re being catfished. Social media is great, but remember to be safe at all times.
Social Media: Good? Bad? Both?
To be honest, it’s not that simple. As with everything, social media has its pros and cons. Personally, I believe it can be very healthy if used in moderation with safety in mind. I don’t have any social media aside from a writing blog on Tumblr, but that’s because I see social media as a form of creative expression. I don’t need other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram for writing. My parents actually use social media more than I do, whether it’s to keep in touch with friends or to promote and grow their business. So in terms of an answer, there is no answer, except the one that’s right for you. Go forth and have fun!
Hi! I’m Piya, an aspiring novelist hoping to someday publish. I spend most of my time reading, writing, or playing music, and I also love spending time with my family. I’m very excited to be sharing my perspective on things here at Waco Moms!