Positive Effects of Social Media
Social media is an integral part of today’s society. With loads of information being disseminated over the Internet, social media has become the very fabric upon which our society is being built. The people who are at the forefront of molding the future of social networking sites are teens and children. This is because vast majorities of the people who use the Internet are children and teens. Reportedly, many teens spend an average of 8 hours online every day. Much of that time is thought to be spent on social media sites, with only some attention focused on research and learning.
For the past decade, social media has been touted as a platform for youngsters to congregate online and interact socially as if they were in person, regardless of their distance from each other. There are likely teens out there who do not know of many other uses of the Internet other than their favorite social media platform.
While there have been many negative outcomes from social media such as cyberbullying and other online dangers, social media can be used in ways that promote positive and productive ideas in society. These positive behaviors make social media an invaluable tool to young people if used correctly. Below are some of the ways in which social media can be used to benefit young people:
1. Social media can be used to educate young people. While talking to and advising kids and teens on a one-on-one basis is considered ideal, social media can do the same much more effectively and to a broader audience all at once. People like to use YouTube to express their opinions on various subjects. In the process, they attract millions of views and climb to the top of search engines. This leads to companies taking an interest in sponsorship and furnishing of better gear to make better videos while showcasing their product.
2. Social media can be used as a voice of reason in society. Various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are being used by the youth to create a voice for the voiceless. On Facebook, for example, groups like “Disability is not inability” are being brought up to make society more conscious of how they treat the disabled. Most of these groups are started by young people who see the essence of treating everyone equally and social media as the perfect place to spread that message.
3. Social media has enabled more young people to be creative and innovative. Social media sites mostly depend on active participation and sharing of different content. This makes it so that young people think outside the box and come up with new content when sharing information. Not only is the content they share unique, but new applications and websites spring up every day with new ways to express creativity and individuality.
4. Social media has given teens the ability to hone different skills that are important in the real world. Young people are increasingly able to interact more freely and easily in different social environments online, much like they will later on in life in the workplace. This is a result of the endless exposure they get from being online and talking to different people, some of whom are their potential employers. Young people acquire skills that enable them evaluate and interpret different situations contextually and prepare themselves mentally for situations later on. Sites like YouTube have thousands of educational videos that give anyone the ability to sharpen and develop their various skills and talents, for example, playing the guitar, swimming and even cooking.
5. Social media gives teens skills to become more confident and independent. Engaging on social networking sites can be a new adventure for young people. It is like exploring a new place where different skills are needed. Young people learn to mold their character to be more confident and independent in order to be heard or have a positive online presence. This eventually transfers to their daily lives.