The Impact of the Internet on Teenager’s Social Development

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The Impacts of the Internet on Teenager’s Social Development
Today’s Teenagers use technology more than ever. Most of them have Internet access, which they use to send and receive email, instant messages, live chat, and more. Rarely do they stop to think about how harmful the Internet can be, such as exposure to pornography, cyber-bullying, sexting (an act of sending sexually explicit materials), etc. However, the Internet has adverse affects on teenager’s social life, mental health and physical health.

The Internet has an adverse impact on the social life of teenagers. According to Brent Staples, “… the heavy use of the Net actually isolates younger socially connected people who are unwittingly allowing time online to replace face-to-face interaction with their families and friends” (1). This means that due to over usage of Internet, teenagers become isolated from communicating to family and friend. Today, due to popularity of social networking sites, teenagers are encouraged to post their profile on them because they want to be accepted by cyberspace peers. The profile helps them to meet and make friends with strangers. In turn, the stranger may be a predator who expose the teen to child pornography and encourage the teens to exchange pornography. In some cases the predator wants to meet for the purpose of having sex. Also, the strangers may influence the teenagers to join the groups and the gangs which are engage in improper or illegal activities such as cyber fraud, drug trafficking, and more.

All this heavy use of internet by teenagers may affect their mental health. Teenagers who grow up interacting online may find it harder to make friends in the real world and they became aloof, withdrawn and depressed. According to Staples, teenagers can actually “… lose friends, and experience symptoms of loneliness and depression, after joining discussion groups and other activities” and this causes teens to become emotionally empty and frustrated (1). Also,...
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