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Social Media Hazards for Youth Essay


Technology has made people’s lives easier and has brought numerous opportunities. Social media have become one of the most amazing innovations of the beginning of the 21st century. It has been estimated that 84% of those aged 18-29 use social networks (Anderson & Rainie par. 6). Young people have developed certain digital community where they are always linked to their peers. Social media users share information and learn a lot of useful things. At the same time, social networks are also associated with certain hazards. For instance, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas claims that social networks prevent young people from reflection, which is crucial for those who should exercise imagination and contemplate. However, social media are not as harmful as many people think since they help individuals broaden their horizons.

Many educators argue that there is little time for reflection as young people are always distracted. Some claim that humans are too absorbed by the digital world, and they rely too much on technology (Fuchs et al. 114). It has been acknowledged that people feel the need to be linked, and they long for “instant gratification” they get from checking e-mails, their accounts, and so on (Alsop par. 1). The researcher states that humans have become quite dependent on technology that takes a lot of their time. Social networks users often share irrelevant information and become too concerned with superfluous things. Unfortunately, this is quite true. Many young people spend hours sharing photos and different files or simply chatting about trivial things. That time could be spent more wisely.

Clearly, people need some space for themselves. They have to stop and contemplate. They should have time for reflection, which brings a deeper understanding of the world and selves. Fruitful reflection turns into beautiful works of art that embody the development of human thought. Apart from that, reflection enables people to understand who they really are and what they really want, which is essential for their success in life. Of course, they need time to think, put, and answer their questions. It is especially important for teenagers and young adults who become members of the society. They have to make numerous choices, and they need some time to make thoughtful and beneficial decisions. Admittedly, it is hardly possible to understand which path to choose when a person is distracted by constant messaging and discussing the latest trends in the world of purse fashion.

However, it is necessary to note that social media are not as harmful as some may think. Television used to be seen as one of the major hazards posed, and teenagers were thought to be completely absorbed by that innovation of the 20th century. Nonetheless, millions of individuals stopped being dependent on TV, and humanity did not stop its development. On the contrary, thousands of dreamers found a way to make their dreams come true (there are space tourists, expeditions to other planets and to the most distant parts of the ocean, advances in genetics, and so on).

Likewise, social media will not turn humanity into digital slaves feeding machines. More so, social media can broaden young people’s horizons, as they are able to communicate with those coming from different cultural backgrounds. Young adults can learn a lot about life in other countries, about other cultures about different views and values. It is possible to state that social media can give young adults the necessary background for reflection.

Clearly, individuals should understand that they have to balance communication and reflection. Educators can help young people in developing proper patterns when it comes to social media and reflection. College students should understand that they can spend a certain time in the digital world. However, they should also spend most of their time in the real world as well as in the world of their reflection and contemplation.

It is necessary to add that increasing the popularity of social media is not the only hazardous trend, as some young people think that dreaming and exercising imagination is useless and should be diminished since they have to focus on their studies. Therefore, educators (ideally, parents as well) should encourage children, teenagers, and young adults to stop and think, exercise imagination. Students should understand that the development of technology, art, medicine, science is the result of people’s effective contemplation. Telling stories about great dreamers (renowned scientists, writers, and leaders) can be the necessary tool to make college students stop and think.

Works Cited

Alsop, Ronald J. “Gotta Have It Now, Right Now.” Notre Dame Magazine 2011-12. Web.

Anderson, Janna and Lee Rainie. “Main Findings: Teens, Technology, and Human Potential in 2020.” Pew Research 2012. Web.

Fuchs, Christian, Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund and Marisol Sandoval. Internet and Surveillance: The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Social Media Hazards for Youth." June 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-hazards-for-youth/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Social Media Hazards for Youth'. 20 June.

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