Effects of Social Media on Young Adults
Looking at the average Millennial, one would see him toting all his smart devices and would wonder if Millennials are ever disconnected – from technology or from each other. The Millennial Generation, more than any other generation, feels the need to be constantly linked to each other. For young American adults aged 18-32, technology is their life; virtual reality has come to supersede physical reality. In what seems like every second of every day, teenagers can be found on their computers, tablets, and cell phones, searching though pages of social media. In fact, statistics prove that they are: an average teenager has 201 Facebook friends and 73% of teenagers are on at least one social network (Thomas). Across Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter alone it shows how cyber space is endless. According to Social Media Watch, Twitter now boasts that as of May 2, 2013 it has 359 million active users; Facebook still holds the top social media spot with 701 million active users. Thanks to the sizeable growth in online activity, the Millennial Generation has lost touch with interpersonal communication. If not monitored, online social networking will become detrimental to the Millennial generation and following generations’ social and psychological development, as the anonymity of cyber space has been shown to encourage negative behavior, leading to increased feelings of disconnection from others. Each generation spends their childhoods in different ways. As for this century, Millennials find themselves trapped in the world of media, populated by televisions, radio, magazines, mobile phones, laptops and the Internet, which gives young adults access to what most young adults crave, social media. There seems to be no decline for “the social networking movement.” Just a few examples of the seemingly infinite types of online networking are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube. According to Amanda Lenhart, of New York Department of Health, 93% of young adults go online. (Lenhart). With such a strong amount of people accessing the Internet, the dangers that can come from the massive amount of time spent online must be discussed. Social networking is being used as a new tool necessary for a growing technological society. Teenagers, being a large part of the online generation, have been caught up in the allure of online social networks and the way they have revolutionized how people go about their daily activities. A study showed that 48% of people ages 18-34 years old check Facebook when they wake up (Statistics Brain). This shows how highly young adults prioritize social media. Due to the excessive amount of time spent on these networks and the online freedom that young people have to continuously explore different social networking sites, they are prone to the negative effects it has on their development. While it may seem that social media is required for social survival in today’s society, in actuality it is just a way of communicating with greater ease. With moderation, social networks are vital to American culture. It is when these websites are abused with the intent to bully others, and once they are considered the only hobby for young adults, that they can become increasingly more dangerous. A large problem arises from communication via technology in lieu of face-to-face conversations, and its prevalence over other activities such as reading, sports, or other hobbies that positively shape the mind and body instead of being a catalyst for negative behavior. Social networking is affecting the schoolwork and test results of America’s youth. Researchers have found that the middle-school, high school and college students who used Facebook at least once during a 15 minute period get lower grades overall (Cosby). While they are trying to do homework students have a tendency to attempt to multitask and do their homework while simultaneously on different social media outlets....
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