Any parent should be concerned about how their teenage children are using social media. We have heard countless stories about the hazards of this online platform on the younger generation. With the ubiquitous presence of social media, parents have their work cut out for them and they need to consider so many things. It is so easy for young people to get fully immersed in the online realm and get lost in it. Social media has become a strong online force and it isn’t leaving. Many teenagers already use social media platforms constantly each day and this should be the cause for concern. It is important to start thinking critically about the habits of children.

1.It is addictive: There are reasons why social media is addictive for children and it is often associated with rewards, such as comments, shares and likes. Getting things that they want could trigger the release of dopamine and it is a substance that controls the feeling of pleasure. The same thing happens to addict gamblers each time they get small wins. Teenagers are also addicted to the repeated interactions with their friends and it is often about online social participation. Teenagers want to do what their friends are doing and it’s nothing new. The thing is teenagers can pick up some cheap mobile phone deals at Metrofone so they sometime convince their parents they need a phone and it becomes easier to accept social media.

2.It promises fame and fortune: Social media is a new path to the celebrity status. We have seen how social media celebs in YouTube and Instagram gain millions of dollars each year. They have the knowledge, talent and skill to gain responses from people. As people become more successful, they will get sponsorships, ads revenue and endorsement deals. This has inspired many teens and they want to simulate the same financial success. However, the social media environment has become quite crowded and many people want to stand out with their content. In some cases, people start doing things that are morally questionable to gain more views and likes. This can be a good or bad thing for teens, depending on what path they choose.

3.It defines teens: Teens are growing up mentally in a digital way and even children are able to make their own personal statements. They choose unique profile picture and create posts that have direct relationships to their characters. Teens seek to forge an identity and social media is a perfect platform to achieve that. Social media is highly accessible and it offers flexible tools that teens can easily use. Eventually, teens wrap themselves up strongly in their online identity and their social media accounts become an essential part in their personal representation.

4.It tends to devalue women: The use of social media tends to devalue women. Many women in social media are appreciated for their gorgeous and sexy looks. This situation significantly affects girls and many of them have desire in getting many likes and comments by showing off their physical appeal. They could become annoyed when a picture doesn’t attract enough responses from friends and strangers. This may also desensitize men and they may also start to devalue women, by focusing only on a limited number of factors. Many girls are feeling the social pressure to comply with such requests, especially if they have the desire to attract plenty of online attention.

5.It shapes brain development: The use of social media represents repetitive sensory activities, related to the way we process information. There have been many studies about the effects of television and video games on children, but parents should also know that social media can affect brain development as well. Today, the screen time among teens is at an all-time high. It should be known that our activities and habits will create new pathways, strengthen certain existing pathways and weaken others. It means that the use of social media could have lasting and permanent changes on our brain.

6.It causes depression: Social media isn’t only about exciting and fun interactions with friends. Social media can be a relaxing escape, but for many teens it is a necessary part of their daily lives. Among many people, it has been shown that lower rates of happiness are often associated with the time we spend online. Social media may vastly affect our satisfaction and wellness. Social media doesn’t invent cyber bullying, but it allows for much more intensified cruelty of online harassment. The spread of gossip and false news are accelerated and it is far easier to insult people. Many teens eventually find that social media is a den of insults and verbal aggressions. Teens may easily engage in negative exchanges by using inappropriate words. There are many cases of two-way aggressions, but we also often find abusive, one-sided verbal attacks. Regardless of semantics, cruelty is still cruelty. Bullies may not directly use dirty words, but they can still abuse victims in different ways. For many teens, social media is already a critical part of their lives and experiencing constant attack will be certainly depressing. In more extreme cases, we have seen incidences of teenage suicides due to intense cyber-bullying.

7.It boosts sense of business: Teens don’t always get negative effects from social media. Teens see how social media is being used by freelancers, small businesses and corporate to enhance growth and gain profits. They see how people advertise in social media and gain sales. Eventually, teenagers have an idea on how to leverage their social media presence to drive sales and get revenue.