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Overexposure. Research Paper on Teens and Social Media

dbacksbabe25 1 / -  
Jul 15, 2018   #1
The Effects of Social Media and Teens

Kerinda Stortini
ENG 102/11836
Stephanie Olson

Overexposure: The Effects of Teens and Social Media

Social Media is a collaborative network that allows people to connect using apps on their smartphones or websites on the computer. People can share photos, show snippets of their lives and moments with others instantly with a click of a button. Social Media creates easy access friendships and relationships to span over miles and miles. This type of instant social life is not meant for everyone. It can lead to social anxiety, bullying, isolation, or overall safety issues for teens whose brains are in the developing stages. Parents should monitor their teen's social media because of the risks to the child's well-being.

The teenage brain is still very impressionable and is developing still at this critical period of life. At the age of 11years old the female brain is only half developed, while for a male it is at age 15 when their brain is at that same point. (Rastogi) The developing cortex is interpreting and giving meaning to the what is seen or experienced on social media. This becomes wired in their belief system, thought patterns, or mentality. (Rastogi) A teenage brain is not always able to distinguish what is real and what is not, and parents should not assume they do. Teens could be disillusioned by the 10,000 likes or the 655 friends they have on Facebook considered being "popular" or that they are significant or more important. This could cause the teen to add more pressure to keep up being as popular as they think they are.

Teens may not be aware of the psychological effects that occur when they are logging on and off their favorite social media outlet. Recent studies show that 1 in 5 teens now suffer from anxiety and it may stay with them through their college years. (Rastogi) Some college students report that anxiety is a top-ranking concern and even some are taking psychotropic medication. (Rastogi) Teens must deal with real life stresses of school, parents, and friends. Social media is a tool for them to put real life on hold and take a break, but afterwards they don't always get the elation they were looking to. They may look at others' posts and it may create of feeling of missing out or worry about why they were not invited or if they are liked anymore. The added stress and anxiety can lead to difficulties academically and unable to manage constant pressures that come from life without feeling overwhelmed.

Another aspect that teens may not be aware of with social media is that some people use the source as convenient way to target others and had created cyberbullying. Bullying for some is common in childhood, but with the social media it has given more opportunities for teens to be victims or persecutors. Approximately 21% of teens from ages 12-18 had experienced bullying (Stop par. 8), however 16% of those teens were also bullied via a technological source.(National pg. 31) If a teen was bullied at school, they were able to get some reprieve at home that is currently not the case today. Teens are now subject to persistent bullying because of the 24-hour access to social media. It is also permanent because whatever is placed on the internet or in social media remains forever.

Within the vast closeness of the social media world, it can also make teens feel isolated. Teens can post just the positive aspects of life without showing the real hardships they may be facing. (Willingham par.3) When others scroll through they may be left with the misconception that everyone is living a happy life so in turn they do the same type of posting to mask their own flaws. Curating false perceptions of what teens are really going through creates a perplexing paradox because most start to feel isolated in the so-called social media world. (Willingham par. 5) The more teens are truthful to themselves and become more vulnerable allows others to be drawn closer and realize they're not alone in a situation.

Another concern for teens and social media is the possibility for addiction. Teens may feel detached from their family and friends and seek refuge where they feel safe and loved. (Shephersds par. 8) Soon it becomes an obsession and a preference over physical acceptance. There may me a pull or a constant to need to stay connected and continue to post that they miss out on the enjoyment of the real world around them. The yearning to create posts that obtain more 'likes' triggers dopamine to the brain creating a type of high.(Shepherds par. 9) A teen's need to recreate that sensation could soon find them in a cycle of posting more things, checking in, and waiting for a response. It becomes a sickness for teens that could lead to more harm or addiction to other items.

Although, social media has its bad attributes there are also upsides for teens having access to it as a tool. Teens are able to be more creative and interactive. They can collaborate stories with one another and access input on projects, thoughts, or artistry. Social media helps teens learn through a new unconventional way. Teens are able use this medium for homework and making people from diverse cultures more accessible to learn from. For teens who are shy or reserved, social media allows them an outlet where they don't have to fear the face-to-face interaction. Those teens feel more freedom to be who they really are without feeling threatened. Teens also can use social media to become close to others. It is easy for a teen whose members of their family may live thousands of miles feel connected reading posts or instant messaging. Social media can help strengthen bonds of friends or teammates by being able to share 'stories' with each other or creating a group message to stay connected. Teens can utilize social media as an option for support. They can seek medical advice or advice on what to do when faced with perplexing challenges. The feeling that teens get recognizing that they aren't the only out there going through something is very beneficial. Teens also can be more socially aware of what is happening in the world and start to develop their own opinions. Teens can become more active in the community or for a cause due to the social media influence.

Teens need their parents need to be role models for them especially when it comes to social media. Parents should show teens how to be respectful on social media. Posts and photos that can be seen by the public will be available to teens viewing as well, so parents need to make sure what is posted is appropriate. Parents should also limit themselves to how much screen time and social media time they use. In recent studies, parents spend on average 9 hours a day focused on some form of social media (Edwards par. 2) which is very similar to another survey that showed kids and teens do the same. (Elmer par.3) Children are watching their parents and are wanting to follow in their footsteps parents need to remain conscientious of that. If both teens and parents take a break from their devices this increases their chances of having meaningful discussions or enjoy moments that cannot be obtained by screens. Physical interactions and relationships should not be replaced by social media.

Another thing that parents need to realize for is there needs to be open communication between them and teens. Parents have a duty to their teens to discuss the possible dangers of social media. Some teens are unaware of the privacy policies of these social media applications and may post something not realizing who is able to view it. According to some teens in an interview in the Washington Post, they want parents to talk to them. "If teens feel their parents are unaware, they are less likely to seek them out for advice or guidance." (Homayoun par. 5) Parents should lay the foundation for open ended conversations with their teens so at a critical time they know who to direct their questions and concerns with instead possibly receiving advice from a bad source. It may not always seem that teens are up for discussion with their parents, but it should be an option available to them. This also helps teens realize that parents are there for support and not just to criticize or mandate.

Parents need to be just as vigilant about monitoring their teen's social media use as they may do so for their grades. Parents should be familiar with several types of social media, so they can understand how to post, how to view what is being posted, and who can view the teen's profile. Parents should request to be friends on their child's social media account to help keep an eye on them and also ask their family members to do the same. Though they need to keep in mind that 71% of teens admit to hiding online stuff from their parents. (Elmer par. 6) They go so far as to create a 'finsta' which is a fake Instagram account that is used to appease parents and they use their real Instagram account or 'rinsta' to post things they don't want their parents to see.

In conclusion, social media was developed to create gap between others and bring the world seemingly closer, but it should not be the only form of social involvement for teens. Parents need to help guide teens into making the right choices when it comes to social media and stay proactive about it. That way it will increase the chances that a teen will be safe from physical or mental harm because of social media. Through parental monitoring and open communication with teens, social media can be used for the positive aspects that it was created for.

Works Cited

Barnes, Angela and Christine Laird. "The Effects of Social Media on Children." Eastern Washington University.

Clarke-Pearson, Kathleen, Gwenn Schurgin O'Keefe . "The Impact ofSocial Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families." Pediatrics

Edwards, Erika and Maggie Fox. "Role Models? Parents Glued to Screens 9 Hours a Day." NBCnews.

Elmore, Tim. "Parent's Guide to Social Media Use for Kids."PsychologyToday.

Homayoun, Ana. "What Teens Wish Their Parents Knew About SocialMedia." Washington Post. 9

National Center for Disease Control. Youth Risk Behavior Survey: DataSummary and Trends Report 2007-2017.

Rastogi, Rajani. (Part 1 of 4) "Teen Brain Development" YouTube.

Shafer, Leah. "Social Media and Teen Anxiety- How Parents Can HelpTheir Kids Navigate the Pressures of Their Digital Lives - WithoutPulling the Plug on the Positives." Harvard Graduate School ofEducation.

Sheperd's Hill Aacademy. "Teens and Social Media Addiction.

StopBullying.gov. "What is Cyberbullying?"

Willingham, AJ. "Study Links Social Media Use to Isolation in YoungAdults."
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 15048 4830  
Jul 15, 2018   #2
Kerinda, you can better balance the information in your research paper if you revise it to have a more integrated feel to the format (social media - teen - parent discussion) rather than focusing first on the negatives, then the responsibility of the parents, and the possible solution to problems. If you review your paper, you will notice that the solutions that you say stem from parental involvement in social media is not directly related to the problems you presented at the start. I think the research will have a more informative feel if the discussion follows the following format per topic:

1. Introduction of topic / Topic sentence
2. Effects
3. Role of parents
4. Expected outcome
5. Transition to the next topic

By connecting the effects of social media on the child and the role of the parents in preventing these issues in a more social media related manner, the presentation becomes more interesting and less one sided in presentation. Every discussion becomes more balanced and will also allow you to vary your referenced information per discussion topic instead of having a focus on only one source per discussion. Varying the sources per discussion shows a well-rounded research process on your end that the professor will better appreciate.

As for the title, I think you currently have it in reverse. I believe that some other options for your title could be:

1. The Effects of Social Media on Teens
2. Parents Responsibility in Educating Teens on Social Media Use
3. Social Media, Teens, and Parents
4. Responsible Social Media Use: The Role of Parents

... or variations thereof.

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