Social media 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, connecting one another around shared interests.
2. It Provides a Platform to Communicate Regardless of Geography
Social media has shrunken the world. Now, it’s possible to find and meet people from anywhere in the world, connecting solely by your interests on a more intimate, friendly platform.
3. It Can Be Used to Mobilize Groups, Movements and More
Movements like #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 they’ve achieved without social media. Users are swift and savvy, pushing for causes they believe in across social channels at a time when a single tweet can change the world.
4. Professional Networking
Social media plays a significant role in business. With 92% of companies reporting they use social media for recruiting, it makes sense to be active and professional on various platforms. Teens can get a jump start on their career plans by creating a LinkedIn account and connecting with professionals and companies.
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 social media can have a huge impact on the global economy — an economy that impacts 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 gained the capacity to be monetized, marketing and advertising professionals began using it to target audiences and push branded content. Over a decade later, social media advertising is ubiquitous and better targeted than ever thanks to all users’ data — and teens offer up a LOT of data.
For some, getting targeted advertising can be helpful. It can also be used to exploit the audience.
2. Social Media Can be Addictive
Various studies have confirmed social media addiction is becoming more prevalent. Research by Mark D. Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University suggests “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.
4. Social Media 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 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 social media can be a dangerous, vulnerable landscape. 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 uncomfortable territory to navigate.
Pros and 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