Social media is a force to be reckoned with. It has changed the way we communicate and how we consume and share media. So what are the top 5 pros and cons of social media for teens and their parents?
PROS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
1. Connecting People and Building an Online Community
This is what social media was intended for: building an online community. Social media allows you to share valued content with your social network, which allows us to connect around shared interests.
2. It Provides a Platform to Communicate Regardless of Geography
Social media has shrunken the world, bringing people together in ways that were previously unheard of. Now, you can find and meet people from anywhere in the world, connected solely by your interests on a more intimate, friendly platform.
3. It Can Be Used to Mobilize Groups, Movements, and More
Movements like #MeToo and #NeverAgain, which teens first used to unite one another following the Parkland school shooting (and later took on a life of its own), wouldn’t have had the kind of exposure that they actually achieved without social media. Users are swift and savvy, pushing for causes they believe in across their social channels at a time when a single tweet can change the world.
4. It Can Help Improve Their Professional Network
As young people age and plan for their future, they understand that social media now plays a more significant role in business. With 92% of companies reporting that they use social media for recruiting, it makes sense to be active and professional on social media. Teens can get a jump start on their career plans by creating a LinkedIn account and connecting with professionals or companies that they admire.
5. It Helps Fuel the Global Economy
According to Media Marketing, global social media ad spending will hit $50 billion in 2019. The amount of revenue generated via social media in 2018 exceeded $23 billion, which proves that social media can have a huge impact on the global economy — an economy that will be impacting young people more and more every day.
CONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
1. It’s Become a Hotbed for Marketers and Advertisers
In his book Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media, José van Dijck explores how once social media could be monetized, marketing and advertising professionals began using it to target audiences and push branded content across this new medium. Over a decade later, social media advertising is ubiquitous and better targeted than ever thanks to all your data — and teens offer up a LOT of data.
For some, getting targeted advertising can be helpful. At other times, and less mature minds, it can be used to exploit the audience.
2. It’s Been Shown to Be an Addiction for Some People
Various studies have confirmed that social media addiction is all to real and is becoming more prevalent. Research by Mark D. Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University suggests that “the excessive use of new technologies (and especially online social networking) may be particularly problematic to young people”.
3. User Data Is Collected, Exploited, and Sometimes Compromised
Recent revelations surrounding the collection, leaking, and sharing of user data by Facebook perfectly illustrates one of the greater dangers of using social media. With most young people being on social media since adolescents, that’s potentially more information that can be exploited.
4. It Can Cause Depression and Anxiety
While social media can be an effective outlet for some, research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has shown that it can also cause anxiety and depression. This is of particular concern with children and teens.
5. It Can Be Used to Disseminate Fake Content and/or Propaganda.
Ever since the FBI uncovered Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 Presidential election using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s become apparent that social media can be a dangerous landscape and we are vulnerable. Young people have fewer critical thinking skills, and some may not feel comfortable with discussing certain topics they’ve discovered online. That lack of communication can make fake news very dangerous when it comes to young people.
Reviewing these, did you notice how social media has been either a pro or con for you? If so, what was the pro or con? What was your experience using social media? Do you feel that social media is more of a pro or con for you? Let us know in the comments.
PROS & CONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA – Sources
Companies Use Social Media for Hiring
Revenue from Social Media in 2018
Media Marketing – social media ad rates
Journal of Addition Research & Therapy
NCBI study on social media causing depression and anxiety