Social media vs. reality: What teenagers need to know

Social media provides teens with platforms to connect, share ideas, interests, and thoughts. However, there can be a dark side to social media if used in a way that attracts negative attention.

In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of social media, as well as tips teenagers can use to stay safe and get the most out of social media.

The pros of social media

  • For young entrepreneurs, social media can promote their products and services. There are options to boost your page views and followers, like sponsoring the page or using brand influencers.
  • Social media provides a platform to learn new skills such as DIYs, online courses, webinars, and more. In addition, it’s a great place to find tutorials for skills you want to acquire—for example, painting, dancing, even sports.
  • Social media keeps teenagers updated on current events and technologies. In addition, it provides them with up-to-date information about what’s happening in their communities and around the world.
  • Provides an opportunity to develop better online social skills and interact with others who are different from them. In addition, it’s a place where teens can voice their opinions without the fear of being judged or embarrassed and engage in meaningful conversations that matter to them.
  • Social media gives teenagers a connection to their peers. Many people refer to social media as “the great equalizer” due to its accessibility, allowing teens from different backgrounds and experiences to communicate freely and without prejudice.
  • The positive aspect of social media is that it gives teenagers a chance to share their ideas and explore their creative side. This is evident in the rise of young content creators earning a living from massive followers and brands sponsorship.

The cons of social media include:

  1. Social media can be addictive. People also have a concern about how much time teens spend online because this can lead them to develop unhealthy habits like not sleeping enough or improper eating habits because all their focus is on their phones.
  2. One of the most dangerous aspects of social media is that it can be used for cyberbullying. Cyberbullies often use screenshots and photos to embarrass victims. They can also post personal information about someone without permission. This can lead to depression and suicide.
  3. Many teens spend so much time communicating through these sites instead of face-to-face connections with people around them. In addition, spending a large portion of time online can make it challenging to keep up with friends and family.
  4. Social media can lead to decreased productivity. It’s common for people to spend hours scrolling through their social media feeds rather than completing tasks in the real world or working on school assignments.
  5. Giving too much information on social media and communicating with strangers has led many unaware teenagers to the trap of dangerous people. This includes kidnappers, rapists, and serial killers. In addition, the ability to create fake profiles has favoured people with ill-intentions who disguise themselves and cause harm.

Tips for using social media responsibly

 Limit your social media time

It’s important to keep in touch with the physical world and have face-to-face interactions. Try to hang out with friends, read a book, or take a walk.

Choosing what you share

The more you post, the more people will be able to access you and what’s going on in your life including dangerous people such as sexual predators, murderers, among others. Before posting, ask yourself if the information you want to put out is safe in the hands of a stranger.

In conclusion, social media and reality can be different things. What you see on social media is the polished side of people – no one wants to display their flaws. Do not feel pressured to be perfect.

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