According to Merriam-Webster (2014), social media is defined as “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (pictures and videos). Over the last 15 years, social media has evolved and has become part of our everyday lives.
The top five most popular social networking sites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkenIn, and Pinterest. What you can do on these sites varies, but the one common theme between them all is the ability to post content and communicate with almost anyone online. These sites allow teens to share as much as they want, whenever they want, if they have access to it. Many of these sites also allow users to “cross post”, which means they share the same piece of content on different sites, making it that much easier to reach the maximum amount of people online.
In today’s world, a large percentage has access to the Internet at their fingertips, whether it is with smartphones, laptops, or tablets. There can be several positive impacts that social media can have, but there can also be several negative impacts. A main disadvantage of social media would be comparing yourself to celebrities or those who may seem to have the “perfect life” online. Although the number of adults who use social networking websites has grown rapidly over the last several years, adults as a whole remain less likely than teens to use these sites (Strasburger, 2010). This is especially true when teens (ages 13-18) have the same access to these social media sites. Almost three quarters of teens in the U.S. have access to a smartphone allowing an increasing accessibility to the Internet (Lenhart, 2010).
The continual use of social media sites will impact teens lives negatively in several ways. The accessibility of social media sites makes it easy for teens to be the victims of cyberbullying which can have several negative impacts on a teen. Social media sharing can create unrealistic expectations of what teens should look and act like, making it seem like they should have “the perfect life”.
Also, teens in today’s world allow social media to influence their self-esteem. They attribute the amount of “likes” they get on posts to how much people like them in real life. This can affect teens, especially young girls, with how they view their own body image. Teenage girls are particularly susceptible to peer pressure, and therefore are more likely to compare themselves to what they see online. It creates unrealistic standards that teens feel t...