4 Ways Social Media is affecting teens.

When we ask someone their thoughts on Social Media, chances are the answer will be different every time. Depending on their age, career, or social status.

There is a large community of people who believe Social Media is a negative world for young teens, that can cause harm or mental illness. In this blog, we are going to discover how Social Media can put a positive spin in a teens life.

Unique friendships can be easily created through Social Media. It gives introverted teens a greater chance to reach out and become more involved socially. With a creative outlook, it gives teens a chance to find a group of individuals with unique interests and follow those pages; contributing to conversations that they may not find at school. “…according to a study by Common Sense Media, 52 percent of teens felt that social media improved their friendships…” (Sherri Gordon, https://bit.ly/2Buf2Yf). Whether they have a unique talent they share on Pinterest or joined a fan club for a less popular band. These teens will feel involved and a part of something special.

“The main purpose of social networking sites is to allow people to socialise, regardless of distance and other barriers.” (Trinity Grammar School, https://bit.ly/2UXjwhV)

Advertising for good cause is sometimes missed when discussing not only Social Media, but teens that genuinely care about changing the world. Let’s take a look at Co-Founder of WE.org, Craig Kielburger. After seeing a local newspaper headline discussing young children in Pakistan being murdered in child labour, at just age 12, Craig knew he wanted to change the world. From then on he managed to reach attention from big names such as Oprah, BBC and 60 minutes. Through his journey, along side is brother and second Co-Founder Marc Kielburger, they have made themselves a platform, WE and WE DAY. (Read more about Co-Founder of WE, Craig Kielburger)

Craig Kielburger speaking at WE Day, Rogers Arena 2014
Jen van Houten Via Personal Photo from Concerts & Events

Without the specific advertising for youth around the world through Social Media, Craig and Marc may not have reached such an immense impact to world change. Through advertising online, speaking on talk shows, and creating commercials, many youth & parents of the youth would not know what they could accomplish without Craig and Marc to guide. With the empire Craig & Marc have created, we can travel around the world volunteering to build community centres, learn new cultures, and create friendships from various countries. Craig & Marc have also created a world-wide event called WE Day. Although it may not be in your specific country, they broadcast it on TV stations and posting news about what is happening at the event through Social Media. This allows teens to feel more involved and may peak the interest of teens wanting to start change!

WE Day is the manifestation of the WE movement: an unparalleled celebration of young people and educators who have made a difference. Held in over 15 cities across the United States, Canada, the UK and the Caribbean, the event series features an inspiring line-up of world-renowned speakers, award-winning performers and real-world stories of change. You can’t buy a ticket —you have to earn your way. All it takes is one local and one global action through WE Schools.” (Craig Kielburger, https://www.we.org/en-CA/our-work/we-day/)

Support through Social Media has gained enormous credit to many survival stories. Now teens have access to support & guidance through online companies such as the Kids Help Phone. Kids Help Phone is a website that allows teens to contact them through texting, live chat, phone calls, and gives teens resources to find help in their area. It provides tools to help themselves or a friend in a crisis. Displaying true stories that teens can relate to and answers common questions teens may seek. No matter what is on their minds, Kids Help Phone has an answer and is able to help 24/7. The comfort in knowing it is all confidential, a teen can ask questions without consequence, which is relieving for anyone, no matter what age!

” Kids Help Phone is always there for you. No matter what you want to talk about, we’re here to listen. No judgment, totally private, 24/7.” (https://kidshelpphone.ca/ , 2019)

Photo Taken at the Kids Help Phone Walk in Calgary, 2015
(Davebloggs007 Via Personal Photo of events in Calgary)

With that being said,

Self Esteem is a controversial topic when it comes to Social Media. Often when the two topics are together we hear words like ‘damaging’, ‘destroyed’ or ‘bruised’. When looking deeper at this discussion, we will find companies such as ‘Dove’ that are changing our minds.

Dove has advertised multiple campaigns related to body image, beauty standards, and showing us that we don’t have to look like a model in a magazine to be considered worthy.

In fact, when we explore the Dove page, click the ‘Dove Self Esteem Project’. There we will find Dove campaigns, stories of courageous women for teens to look up to, and cruelty-free Dove products to try!

“The Dove Self-Esteem Project was created from a vision where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. … Our mission is to ensure that the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. …” (https://bit.ly/2krfZvp , Dove 2019)

A project that stuck out, directed at growing teens is the ‘Dove Selfie – Redefining Beauty One Photo At A Time’ campaign. Dove is not only a skin care brand, but a brand that is redefining the young beauty community. The video demonstrates young beauty insecurities often get passed down from generations, and it is up to teens and their mother (or guardian) to redefine the meaning of beauty. Helping (woman targeted) customers feel confident and giving them the power to realize their beauty inside & out. I encourage us all to check out the video online!

Whether a TV commercial, Billboard or Instagram page, we can all rely on Dove to help us rediscover our beauty! Check out their Instagram page!

Dove advertising real beauty from real, everyday women.
(Abigail Howey Via Global Cosmetics News)

While many of us focus on the detriments of Social Media and how it may cause teens in our society pain & grief, we should remember the benefits it can deliver. How easily teens can fit in to social groups, the advertising that can cause positive world change, large support between peers & online chats, and the beauty community that is encouraging self worth & redefining standards.

If we all help show teens the positive outcomes to Social Media and encourage them to find these reliable sources to follow, perhaps our thoughts & words will change. Instead of mentioning the harm, we focus on positive growth. What can our teens do with Social Media in their futures if they are exposed to positivity & feeling of inclusiveness? Will they allow themselves to achieve more excellence?

Sources: https://www.verywellfamily.com/benefits-of-social-media-4067431 , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3agBWqGfRo , http://info.trinity.nsw.edu.au/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-social-media-use-for-teens , https://bitly.com/ , https://kidshelpphone.ca/ , https://www.instagram.com/dove/?hl=en , https://www.dove.com/ca/en/dove-self-esteem-project/our-mission.html , https://www.we.org/en-CA/about-we/our-founders/craig-kielburger , https://www.flickr.com/

Facebook: Good Morning everyone! Fall is in the air; how good does it feel to sit by the fireplace, cozied up with tea & a good book… or a good blog perhaps? If you are interested in discovering a new outlook of Social Media, I encourage you to check out my bog! Within the blog, we will uncover 4 ways Social Media is affecting teens. Find out if it’s negatively… or positively? Leave a comment below your thought on the new age of Social Media and the vast change it has on the young generation!

Twitter: Learn 4 ways Social Media is affecting teens! Read my blog to discover a new outlook on Social Media! #KidsHelpPhone #WE #DOVE #SocialMediaBlog #PositiveSpin

5 thoughts on “4 Ways Social Media is affecting teens.

  1. I read your blog with great interest: I have an 8 year old who is just beginning to ask about social media, and he’s connect with classmates through school-sanctioned games online. There is so much to be concerned about with regards to teens connecting online, and the media tends to predominantly cover the negative stories focused on bullying, celebrity images that affect self-esteem and predators (just to name a few!). It can seem like a frightening place as a parent. However, there is undoubtedly a lot of good that can come out of it too and your post is an excellent reminder that social media can provide a positive space. I think with each new generation, there can be some resistance to the new technology that youth embrace. I remember the controversy and panic over video games in the 80s: the Smithsonian has a great article (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/children-80s-never-fear-video-games-did-not-ruin-your-life-180963452/) that discusses “moral panic” stemming from that technology. Those video games didn’t lead to the demise of society, so perhaps we have to encourage our kids to seek out the good spaces that you reference, and encourage them to create more positive communities of inclusion through social media. I can only assume that was the ideal that the architects of the internet and social media were striving to achieve!

    • Thank You! I know when I was growing up Social Media was just becoming popular! Every parent has a fear within Social Media and their child involved in it. If we focus on good outcomes, and show our kids the good in it, it can become less ‘scary’! Thank you for your awesome comment; I look forward reading the link you provided! 🙂

  2. Very positive blog. I never really realized how much good can come from social media for younger people. You have some great points.

  3. I read your blog and instantly thought of our kids. They are 20, 18 and 14, and social media has affected then all completely differently. I have found that it has affected our 18 year old daughter more than the 2 boys. The amount of bullying she has had to deal with (not her directly, but a good friend) was insane! Looking forward to what you are going to blog next!

  4. I really love the positive position you took with this topic! Too often people are quick to criticize social media and focus on the negative aspects. I am a mother of 2 teenagers and I try to encourage them to use social media responsibly and create a space where everyone has a voice that matters. For example, instead of concentrating on the online bullying that often occurs, try to create a safe place for people to communicate and express themselves freely without being judged. Thanks for the awesome topic choice and I look forward to reading your next blog!

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