Media and Youth

Over the course of time, technology has evolved and improved immensely. In doing so, it has altered the lives of billions of people worldwide. Thanks to technology, people of all kinds are able to connect and communicate. Evidently, the evolution and advancement of technology has its perks. However, what effect does this evolution have on society? What effect will it have on future generations?

Social media has been and will continue to be very important to this generation. It seems people pride themselves on how many friends or followers they have on websites like Twitter and Facebook. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In gaining followers and friends on the internet, people are establishing connections which allow them to participate in social networking and keep up on current events. For example, important news and events are often posted to Twitter before being broadcast on television.

Since today?s technology has so many perks, it is estimated 2 billion people use the Internet each day. There is no denying the effect it has on youth, a 2013 study states that teenagers are viewing friendship, intimacy, and social interaction differently. Young people feel sufficient social support by having networks of online friends, even if they may never see them in person. In this, many young people no longer feel the need to go out and meet people or experience life outside of school at all for that matter. If teens are not at home on the computer, they are somewhere else on their phones or other wireless electronic devices. This can cause many problems such as a lack of exercise causing weight gain and other health problems and difficulty communicating with others in person. Needless to say, society?s dependence on technology and social media has become a problem for current and future generations.

Next, not only does social media affect youths ability to go out, participate and communicate with others, it affects their perception of who they are and who they are supposed to be. Before popular social networking sites made their debut, celebrities were able to influence youth via magazines and television. Now, not only are those more accessible, but they have become more common and influential. Sadly, celebrities do not always promote acceptable behavior and positivity and, even when they do, young people may misinterpret or compare themselves to those celebrities. As a result, this generation may view themselves as inadequate and become anxious or experience other emotional problems due to social pressures and standards set by celebrities in the media.

How can we fix this? How can we help young people find a balance between technology and face-to-face social interaction? The answer is simple, get your child involved in extracurricular activities, allow them to participate in life, have them do things that do not always involve using their phones or their electronics but that encourage the use of their social skills. As for the effect that social media has on young peoples self-esteem,  reinforce the idea that your child is enough, let them know that they are worth it and that they are capable of achieving great things just like the celebrities they like to compare themselves to. There is no reason for your child to feel inferior to someone in the media unless you allow them to. Throughout your child?s development, they will look to you for advice and reassurance. It is up to you, as a parent, to give it to them.


: anxiety, health, Joy Smith, media, mental health, pressure, social media, society, technology, Windsor youth