I sometimes wonder what life would be like without social media. There are 24 hours in one day, an average teenager spends 9 hours a day on social media according to cnn. I’ve begun to realize how much Social Media plays a big part in today’s society, it’s all about the way you dress, look, and eat. Social Media sensations are constantly setting new trends making teens think they have to look a certain way and dress a certain way to meet standards.
I’ve noticed that whenever I’m with a group of friends the first thing they do is pull out their phones and check the latest news on instagram. They do this for about 30 minutes without even talking to each other! I know some people who have spent so much time on their phones that they’ve become anti social and ignorant to the real world, they often times would rather be on their phone than hanging out with friends or family. Sarah Zay, of USA Today, stated that “With the rise of websites such as Facebook, social networking may be on the verge of replacing traditional personal interactions for the next generation”Even I feel that social media has impacted my life and Just like any other teenager I spend time on social media and a lot of it has affected me in the same ways as others but now that I know of the harm I try to limit myself to an hour a day, because I feel that it is important to experience real things other than what’s being displayed on your phone.I also know that it is okay to be yourself and not someone who others think you should be.
Some people these days starve themselves to look like the girls on Instagram with tons of followers. Some are so self conscious and insecure to the point where they feel like they can’t even go out in public without makeup! This is because they are constantly comparing themselves to people who they think are perfect based on what social media thinks.
With so many teens having social media accounts one negative effect of this is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying may not seem like a big issue when not looked at up close, but it can ruin many friendships, relationships and someone’s overall profile. One can sit behind a screen and say horrible things or even intentionally post embarrassing pictures of someone and the worst thing about this is that the person can do it secretly and anonymously very easily. I know this from personal experience, someone once made an account where they intentionally hated on people from my school, they’d post embarrassing pictures of them and tell horrible secrets of them. People thought that my friends had made this account and since they were my friends everyone started hating me to and started to bully us when we didn’t even make it. The worst thing is you can’t prove anything to make them believe that they didn’t do it since it can basically be anyone sitting behind that screen anonymously causing all of this. I still never even found out who it was. From this experience I know how horrible cyber bullying can be and I know never to do it.
It seems like parents these days are constantly trying to get their kids to go outside and socially interact with people, but all they know is their phones and the entertainment on it. Teens spend more time on their phones than they do sleeping and at school or spending time with their parents, this needs to be changed. Parents shouldn’t have to convince their kids to play this should come naturally because as a kid you have a lot of energy and would want to be active and explore the outside and all of the fun things. I feel like teens and kids these days never got to experience youth as it should be learning how to create you fun, painting pictures playing with friends looking for butterflies,being creative with what you have to make your own fun, I remember as a kid I was always outside whether it be just making up games to play, jumping off of our playhouse to test the theory of flying or even silly things like teaching our cats to be princesses. my cousin who is 8 has her own ipod and knows how to navigate through it and although she doesn’t spend too much time on it she barely plays outside and only does if there are other friends to influence and play with her. She would rather sit inside watching tv which I find is so sad. I feel like social media and phones have made today’s youth grow up so much faster. My cousin is 8 and already knows about gay people, gangsters, and is already telling herself that she is fat. This makes me so sad to hear this from an 8 year old and I know that it is from tv and social media. This is why so many teens grow up to be drug abusers alcohol addicts and wear provocative clothes, they have learned it from an early age and they think it’s okay.
Social media has absent mindedly blinded people from the impacts on today’s society. We look in the mirror and tell ourselves we are fat, we only eat the foods they tell us to thinking it’ll make us feel better and look better, we only use the products they say will make our pimples go away and our lips bigger.
There are many other negative effects of social media but I wanted to focus this essay on the youth because we are the future. If our generation continues to think like this I can only imagine how worse the future may be.Think about your life and how it has affected you and your peers. Do you dress based on what others think? Do you think that the more comments you get the prettier you are? Limiting yourself to an hour a day or maybe even trying to see how long you can go without being on you phone is a great idea and you’ll see how much you have missed while being on your phone, you’ll start making decisions for yourself based on what you like not what others think.Put down your phone and live life through your own eyes.
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