Social Media Effect on Young People

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Social Media Effect on Young People
The 21
century is characterized by outstanding developments in technology that explain
not only the numerous social media platforms but also their ease of access among the youth. Just
like any other innovation, platforms such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Nation-Focus,
Myspace, LinkedIn YouTube, among others, have both constructive and adverse effects on
young people. This essay discusses how the social media promotes personal awareness, enhances
social networking and offers exciting interaction opportunities for our youth alongside the
associated forebodings such as misinformation and privacy concerns.
Research has shown that about 28% of Americans obtain information online, which is
almost twice the percentage of those who access information through the radio (Boulianne, 532).
The enhanced access to information has promoted awareness among the youth since they can
access news, early warning s and other relevant material in real time. Besides, Vaterlaus et al.,
(157) note that individuals in formative years can attain self-awareness and thus get empowered
to face the challenges affecting adolescents and young adults.
Social networking is indispensable in contemporary research and business. According to
Vaterlaus et al., (154) students can access learning materials via social media while keeping in
touch with tutors and potential employers easier today than ever before. Consequently, the social
media has enhanced academic and professional development.
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The novelty of social sites in interaction cannot be underestimated. For instance,
Boulianne (532, 533) found that 59% of the youth make new friends online while 89% of users
use the platforms to sustain their relationships. We cannot accrue such benefits without the
superb communication offered by the social media.
Despite the benefits, the social media has significant adverse effects on young people.
Among the failings is misinformation which is evident through false rumors which spread
profligately in public media. Similarly, misleading material so is common that researchers have
linked it with the high prevalence of juvenile delinquency and drug abuse among the youth
(West et al, 6).
Privacy concerns exist in all electronic media ranging from e-commerce to electronic
health records. Most individuals in social media often post their personal information without
taking time to read privacy policies (Vaterlaus et al., 151). The results are disastrous for our
youth, mainly in the current era where data is a scarce resource. For example, posting of photos
has been linked with kidnapping and assault (West et al., 9). The government and businesses
have also used personal data from social media to make decisions in areas such as taxation and
To sum up, the effect of social media on young people is a contentious topic, yet the
benefits overshadow its associated challenges. In this light, there is a need for collective efforts
to ensure that our youth can efficiently harness the opportunities in the social media despite the
associated vulnerabilities.
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Works Cited
Boulianne, Shelley. "Social media use and participation: A meta-analysis of current
research." Information, Communication & Society 18.5 (2015): 524-538.
Vaterlaus, J. Mitchell, et al. "The perceived influence of social media on young adult health
behaviors." Computers in Human Behavior 45 (2015): 151-157.
West, Lindsay A., et al. "Opposing Viewpoints on Youth Social Media Banning in the US for the
Combatance of Extremist Recruiting: Constitutionality and Societal
Implications." International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT) 6.4
(2016): 1-12.

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