Pros and Cons of Social Media for Teens

Social media has become the main source of communication and entertainment for teens. Most teenagers use Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat almost every day for several hours.

Whether it is to post their latest picture at the local mall on Instagram or simply send a picture to their friend of their dog on Snapchat, social media is everywhere.

These platforms can be used in a variety of beneficial ways but sometimes it may not be so positive.

Social media is both a positive and negative influence on teenagers lives.

It is beneficial to teens because it can help with social connections and spread important news quickly. It helps us stay in the circle of information and allows dozens of new relationships to be created’

Some cons to these platforms are body-shaming and unhealthy addiction which both can be a very influential part of one’s life.

Social media for teens can be almost as important as a news app in some ways. Kids can catch up on the latest stars or even see awful things happening around the world such as shootings or deaths.

It keeps teenagers updated on all the things that happen around us every day.

Personally, I look on Twitter to find out if Fayette County is going to have a snow day by keeping up with the FCPS twitter account. It provides information that I need to know whether it may be a county festival or simply a winter delay for the following day of school. Social media allows my peers and me to retrieve this information quickly so we can prepare for the following day.

Social media also connects me with a lot of people from different schools. Because of Instagram, I know several people at the surrounding school in the county such as Henry Clay High School and Lafayette High school.

It allowed me to make that personal connection with people that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. It has introduced me to a variety of friend groups and peers.

But there are many cons to having social media as a teen as well.

Teenagers are becoming addicted to their phones and no one knows how to stop it. Several hours each day are consumed by phone use with social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Whether it is sending a picture to Snapchat “streaks list” or catching up on your most recent feed on Instagram, social media takes hours of productivity out of teenagers hands. It is an unhealthy addiction that takes time from outside activity or working.

It is blocking teenagers from one on one interaction and the social construct of the world.

Another con of social media is that it can lead to body shaming and lower one’s self-esteem. This is more common with females, but it can also happen to males, too.

Teens often post pictures in bathing suits from vacations or even spending time at the neighborhood pool. They often get criticized and harassed for just one of these pictures.

For females, other peers reply with hateful comments such as “slut” or “you have an ugly body” for posting a picture in a bikini, breaking down one’s self-confidence and making them feel bad for posting it.

For males, if there was a shirtless picture posted, people portray them as too desperate. Social media leads to harassment which results in a not-so-fairy-tale ending. 

Overall, social media has beneficial viewpoints, because it updates students on society’s daily news and creates new relationships.

Either way, it has created a huge impact on our nation’s youth and will continue to do so in the future.