Negative Effects of Social Networking on Teenagers Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1594 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Negative Effects of Social Networking on Teenagers

All over the world, social networks are known to bear many negative effects when compared to the positive effects that they bring to the society. These problems come from the increasing popularity of social networks coupled with the little knowledge that teenagers bear regarding the use of these social networks and how it affects them. Teenagers are unaware of the privacy issues concerning their use of social networks as well as the negative influence that these social networks have on their academics as a result of the addictive nature of these social networks that make them neglect their studies. There are also other negative consequences such as cyber bullying and introverting of teenagers as a result of them getting used to conducing all their social interactions online. These online social networks also create these problems by accepting teenagers under legal age to join these online social networks. "Rather than rejecting underage users, MySpace changed their user policy to allow minors," Conan et al. 662.

This coupled with the peer pressure among teenager to join the social networks creates these problems. Conan et al. (662)

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state that "as teenagers began signing up, they encouraged their friends to join." Parents are also part of the problem since they are ignorant or turn a blind eye to the issues facing their teenage children as a result of their use of social networks. As a result of these many negative effects that come to teenagers from their use of social networks, teenagers should not be allowed to join social networks and where this is not possible, they should be educated about these negative effects and their activity on social networks should be kept in check to ensure they do not suffer these negative consequences.

Negative effects of social networks

Teenagers on social networks are easy prey for online bullies. As the story that is given by Conan et al. (1-15)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Negative Effects of Social Networking on Teenagers Assignment

goes, one woman by the name of Lori Drew created a fake account on MySpace posing as a teenage boy by the name of Josh Evans which she used to flirt with a 13-year-old girl and to get gossip about her daughter. The relationships ended up turning ugly when Megan committed suicide after receiving a message saying that "the world would be a better place without you," Boyd and Ellison 1.

This argument is also supported by Valentine and Holloway (308)

and the i-SAFE foundation state that cyber bulling has become very rampant with more than 50% of teenagers have been bullied once in their lives with about the same percentage having engaged in some form of cyber bullying. These statistics also reveal that "more than 1 in 3 teenagers have experienced cyber threats online," i-SAFE America 1.

They also go ahead to state that over a quarter of all teenagers have experienced repeated bullying either through their cellphones or over the Internet with "well over half of the teenagers being unable to report these incidents to their parents," i-SAFE America 1.

The cyber bullying research center also reports that 80% of teenagers who use their phones regularly "make it the most common medium for cyber bullying," Cyberbullying Research Center 1()

with more than half of teenagers having experienced cyber bullying in some form. These statistics reveal that cyber bullying is common among teenagers with several of them being bullied repeatedly.

Teenagers also lose their personal privacy when they engage in social networks. This comes from their lack of knowledge on the various privacy settings that are available to them on these social networks. Boyd and Ellison (656)

state that "the public display of connections is a crucial component of SNSs," which creates a potential problem for teenagers since they are unaware that they can hide these connections as well as other information. Common Sense Media (14)

argues that "many teenagers who are on these social networks are more engaged in sharing of information than worrying about who they are sharing this information with." In addition to this, Giles and Price (65)

state that "indiscriminate posting where they post too much information about themselves" is a common phenomenon among teenagers. This creates an issue with the teenagers where they end up sharing information with the wrong people. In addition to this, the teenagers have a right to choose who to befriend or who they may allow to view the information that is posted on these social networks. As a result of sharing a lot of information being the basis upon which these social networks thrive and become popular, the teenagers are never educated or warned that they may be posting too much information and sharing it indiscriminately. Furthermore, the social networking sites also collect personal information such as age, education background, geographical location, and gender which they often use to target the teenagers in their marketing campaigns as well as other activities on the social networks. This leads to a loss of personal privacy by the teenagers with the worst thing being that they are unaware of this.

Addiction to the internet is also a huge problem for teenagers and creates problems. Many studies that have been conducted on teenagers and social networks report that these teenagers spend a lot of time on social networks with eighty percent of high school students checking their Facebook accounts at least once a day O'Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson 3.

Calvo-Armengol, Patacchini and Zenou (1260)

argue that the major reason for this is that most teenagers "go through their early teen years with an intense array of digital devices that allow them to access social networks." Studies by Oye (5)

, Yang and Tang (102)

also show that teenagers spend a lot of time on social networks which leaves them with little time to focus on other important aspects of their teenage lives such as their academics. As reported by Yang and Tang (102)

, "online social networks have diverted the attention of students from their academics." Nath et al. (411)

report high usage of social networks on cellphones by teenagers as a result of "cellphones being the most favored gadget by teens for accessing social networks."

Counterargument

Social networks also have several advantages to teenagers. The first is that it social networks enables teenagers to build stronger connections with their friends allowing them to "understand the true meaning of friendship which helps to improve their lives," Walker and Riley 190.

In addition to this, by being able to show virtual empathy, teenagers are able to help each other growth emotionally and deal with problems facing them. The authors also add the social networks have provided important tools for teaching students in ways that help to get to them rather than just providing information for them to read. Through interaction of teachers with the students and also through interactions made between the students themselves, they are able to discuss and share knowledge that leads to their understanding of the course material. Social networks have also become sources of information and a fast way of communicating information. Many a times, news has been broken on social networks reaching followers at a crucial time.

Conclusion

Social networking has become a fad among teenagers and every one of them wants to join the social networks. Social networking bears several advantages which make them important to teenagers. They help the teenagers to build stronger relationships with friends and also help to speed up communication. However, their disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. They include cyber bullying, loss of personal privacy and addiction to the internet. As a result of these many negative effects that come to teenagers from their use of social networks, teenagers should not be allowed to join social networks and where this is not possible, they should be educated about these negative effects and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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