Influences of Social Media on the Youth

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The Effect of Social Media Websites on the Youth

By Martin Young

INTRODUCTION

Amanda Todd was 15 years old and lived in Vancouver. On October 19 this year she hung herself. Shortly before she did this, she made a YouTube video describing why she would commit this unfortunate act.

What made her do this harrowing act? A 15 year-old girl with her whole life in front of her.

It was the result of bullying on many social media sites such as Facebook.

These sites were originally set up with good intentions to facilitate communication and to keep in touch with friends and family and to share pictures. These sites can also assist students in connecting with their peers and discussing their homework, assignments and group projects.

Accessing various forms of social media is a common activity and has been shown to benefit adolescents by enhancing communication. Also, it improves technical skills and keeps people connected to society. Ever since children are born, books, movies and the internet influence how the youth act and think. These influence children more and more as they grow older. During the last 5 years, the number of preadolescents and adolescents using such sites has increased dramatically. According to a recent poll, 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day. Thus, a large part of this generation's social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet. Unfortunately recent research indicates that these sites are now used in a more negative way far outweighing the benefits. Bullying, clique forming and pedophilia are increasingly prevalent on social media sites. Because of their limited capacity for self-regulation and susceptibility to peer pressure, children and adolescents are at some risk as they navigate and experiment with social media.

NEGATIVE

Social media sites can have a detrimental...
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