So why is it a positive thing if teenagers have access to social media?
Teenagers have the answer to everything at their fingertips. If we have a question about absolutely anything we can just “Google it”.
We can keep in contact with family and friends around the world. If a friend or family member moves anywhere in the world we can just message or call them whenever we want, it’s great.
Social media helps raise awareness about problems that we as teenagers are facing; it makes us feel ‘normal’ when we read about someone else in the world that might be going through a similar situation.
Blogging, talking etc. online helps us relate to other people and not feel as alone.
Social media is not always a good thing; there are bad aspects that parents don’t realize, like:
Social media is also a dangerous place where teenagers are exposed to things that they shouldn’t be exposed to; I know of a 14 year old who was caught at school with pornography on their phone. It’s crazy to think that teenagers that young are exposed to that.
Social media made me an awkward person to talk to in person. I am way more confident when I want to say something to someone and I am behind a screen. This is dangerous because it can get us teenagers into trouble, because we don’t think about consequences.
Cyberbullying is a huge thing. Teenagers say what they want to people all the time without realizing that they could be bulyling someone. I was bullied. For years people would tell me that I was the ugliest kid in the school and I was added to a group on WhatsApp where I was told that I was so ugly that makeup couldn’t even make me look pretty. I didn’t tell anyone because I was too scared that the person who said that to me would find out how much it actually hurt me. That comment changed how I saw myself, but I got over it eventually.
Social media has a huge affect on people and I don’t think we can live without it. I personally don’t think anything can be done to combat the dangers of social media.
It is dangerous, but it is also something that I feel I need because it has become my ‘protection’. When I feel anxious or scared in a situation I can just message someone and ask them what to do.
I think the best thing a parent can do for their teenager, if they are being bullied on social media or they are looking at dodgy things, is to get them to talk to someone outside of the family about it. I am a teenager and I know that I would prefer talking to Anita about if I was being bullied than talk to someone in my family.