Social Media and our Youth

To say that today’s youth and their everyday lives are affected by social media is like saying rain is wet.  All of our lives are impacted by social media, directly or indirectly, the power of Social Media is felt throughout the world and is growing by the day.

In America, somewhere around 90% of teens have used social media and the general consensus is that they believe it does more good than harm.  Many also think they are addicted to their digital lives and wish they could shut it off sometimes.  Although texting is used more and more nowadays, teens still prefer communicating in-person and not over the Phone.

Many also agree that TV is far more harmful to youth than social media and internet use, this is probably due to the overall decrease in substantive programming and corporate-influenced news.
This leads into what is the most important facet of social media
As a tool for shaping the future for all young people and their families.  The advent of social media has given a voice that used to not exist for the youth.  It has given the ability to correct social injustices left over from older generations(i.e. LGBT rights, legalization of marijuana, and abortion rights) by painting a clearer picture of what people really want, not the establishment in power wants.

The youth will be shaping their own political landscape using social media to communicate with their state and local government – as was demonstrated by previous elections. The positives outweigh any negatives that come with technology
The main concerns of all this social media exposure for young people can all be avoided through discipline and education.  Cyber-bullying is a real problem for teenagers if their behavior is not being monitored by their parents or if they are not taught about healthy online usage.  Bully is unavoidable growing up, but the effect can be amplified if teens get trapped into an inescapable hazing where it’s harder to police.

As teens enter the job market, social media can also provide an abrupt dose of reality if they do not learn early on that what they say online can stay with them forever.  Companies can and will hire teams to rifle through profiles, posts, shares, tweets(if made public), and any other online footprints that you may have left and couldn’t recall.

You can’t hide your identity completely online and there will always be someone who has an issue with what you say or how you say it, but you can take necessary steps to prevent it from interfering with your career and impacting your personal life.