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The Effect of Media on Adolescents

TheEffect of Media on Adolescents

TheEffect of Media on Adolescents

Thewhole society has been affected by the emergence of new mediatechnologies. Social settings in the society have been infiltrated bythese technologies, thereby having a direct impact on socialinteractions among individuals. One of the biggest technologicalinventions of all time is the internet. There has been diversity inthe social interaction which has been realized through the inventionof the internet. A majority of people have used the internet as amedium through which they can access news or sports updates. Socialnetworking sites (SNSs), emails, blogging, online journals andinstant messaging are some of the types of social interactions thathave been aided by the internet (Tartari, 2015). Most of the SNSsallow people to connect with others or create new connections andalso articulate their social relationships. Such sites permit theinteraction with familiar people or strangers. The constant evolutionof technology has significantly affected how we carry out our dailyactivities. The world has seen a rise in social media and technologywhich have become accessible to adolescents. They can easilycommunicate with familiar people and strangers as well, throughplatforms that do not allow for face to face interaction. This paperaims to provide an in-depth analysis of both the positive and adverseeffects of using social media and other technologies amongadolescents.

Thelife of human beings comprising of the professional, social andpersonal aspects have been shaped up by technological forcesespecially the internet. The internet has provided a convenience thathas improved how we interact. Through the ever advancing technology,adolescents can now experience a difference in their interpersonalrelationships and enjoy an improved quality of communications.However, there is no doubt that technology has had its fair ofnegative effects among adolescents as shall be seen in this paper.Adolescence is the stage where children start to become inquisitiveabout many aspects on their surroundings (Tartari, 2015).

Thegood impacts of social media and technology on adolescents

Thereare some beneficial aspects which can contribute to the positivedevelopment of adolescents as discussed below.


Thebenefit of social media is that it fosters communication betweenadolescents and friends, family and society as a whole. They can getupdated on the life of their acquaintances and even talk throughonline platforms. Social media and technology have contributed to theestablishment of social relationships whereby information andknowledge can freely be shared to complement activities and needs inreal life. Adolescents spend a lot of time interacting with theirpeers throughout their teenage hood. Social media usage occurs asthey are in the process of developing their identity, they are alsodiscovering their sexuality, in addition to the development of theirmoral and physical aspects (Collins, Martino, and Shaw, 2010).Through this interaction, their communication skills havesignificantly improved. Furthermore, their emotional and socialaspects which are vital for their development in life aresignificantly improved. This environment also provides a supportiveatmosphere to explore their perceptions of love, social position, anda platform where they can discuss with their peers regarding issueson musical tastes, programs in television among other features of theadolescent culture. They can derive deeper benefits which can changethe perception of themselves, the society and the entire world. Theability to display virtual empathy is common among adolescents whospend time on social sites such as Facebook (Vossen and Valkenburg,2016).


Socialmedia and technology have created a platform through whichadolescents can gain access to whatever information they require oneof which is information on health. Most adolescents like theanonymity that is linked to online inquiries hence they can obtaininformation on health topics quickly (Collins, Martino, and Shaw,2010). The internet is jammed with numerous topics on health, forexample, depression, sexually transmitted infections and finallyeffective ways to reduce stress among other topics (Henderson etal.,2013). Some of this information is usually hard for many adolescentsto discuss with their parents or colleagues. Access to valuablehealth information is likely to develop and solidify the relationshipbetween adolescents and health professionals. Most teenagers areliable to search for health information before they visit aprofessional to provide them with an in-depth understanding of theircondition. Hence, they can quickly engage in question and answersession with health providers (Lariscy, Reber, and Paek, 2011). Theuse of technology in this manner is of beneficial to many adolescentsand can guide them in making proper decisions in life.


Despitethe negative components with video games, research has demonstratedthat they improve the cognitive skills among adolescents. Theirinformation processing capabilities are developed hence they cannotonly speak, but also visualize what they see. Most games requireattentiveness given that activities may be ongoing in differentlocations in which the outcome would depend on the response theyinitiate. Skills derived from playing games improve their computerliteracy skills and offer a basis for future concepts in science andtechnology which requires extreme manipulative skills (Mills, 2016).Games have included dynamic imagery and spatial concepts which impacton the cognitive abilities of adolescents. This is further supportedby the idea of iconic representation found in games.

Theundesirable impacts of social media and technology on adolescents

Despitethe existence of the positive impact of social media and technology,they are not exempted from some negative aspects which mightsignificantly impact adolescents’ personal lives.

Thebreakdown in face to face communication

Technologicalhas affected the modes of communication between adolescents and thesociety. Apart from verbal communication, there are other usefulaspects of communication that have been affected by the advent ofsocial media and other technologies. Some of these include vocalexpression, facial expressions and body language. These visual cueshave previously been a major part of communication. In the modernsociety, the interaction between adolescents and advancedtechnologies has contributed to the absence of these visual cues(O`Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson, 2011). It may be hard to recognize anemotional state which is commonly displayed through facial expressionif one has never familiarized with them. Therefore, adolescents whoare exposed to technological sources may have difficulty incomprehending physical indicators. Even though technology has easedthe ways through which people communicate, it has hardened thepossibility of reading social cues when interacting. The mood orintention in the message being communicated is distorted when themode of communication is conducted through an online platform or viatext messages. This might cause some long-term repercussions foradolescents in that they may not adequately express their emotions(Pea etal.,2012). They might also have difficulties in communicating in additionto social anxiety.


Socialmedia and other technologies are very powerful tools forcommunication of ideologies. Visual technologies such as television,video games, and online streaming offer an avenue through whichadolescents may be predisposed to the virtues of violence. Theseplatforms provide an avenue through which adolescents can be exposedto many programs, some of which might display violent pictures.Visual images have a greater possibility of changing our perceptionregarding other cultures. Technology has played a role in instigatingthe virtue of violence within adolescents as it is a destructive andpervasive, particularly on impressionable minors. The upsurge inviolence behavior among aggressive adolescents is further worsened byexposure to violent visual programs. The violence depicted ontelevision is highly influential in comparison to other media due toits accessibility (Buckingham and Willett, 2013). By the late yearsof adolescent stage, children have usually been exposed to very manyviolent occurrences such as police brutality, murder, and rape.

Videogames have also worsened the situation given that they are verypopular with adolescents. In such games, children may take roles thatdemand them to shoot and kill. These video games contribute to anaggressive mentality among adolescents in addition to increasedanxiety, aggressiveness and non-social behavior (Korda and Itani,2013). Adolescents are also likely to embrace actions aimed atself-protection and mistrust due to the fear of victimization. Musichas also led to adverse effects among adolescents impactingsignificantly on their emotions. Violence has been glorified in mostsongs, such as hip hop which is popular with adolescents. The violentnature among adolescents has been fueled further by the lyricalcontent in these songs (Strasburger etal.,2013). For example, the culture of hip-hop for a long time favoredthe virtue of violence through the display of guns and aggressivebehavior. Adolescents are also copying these trends just to appearcool and be acceptable by their peers.

Exposureto sexual material

Technologyhas considerably contributed to the accessibility of erotic contentby adolescents. It cuts across all media platforms such as televisionwhich is awash with adult programs and also the internet which isflooded with pornographic content. Access to such content has seriouseffects on adolescents (Valkenburg, Peter, and Walther, 2016). Womenhave been objectified as sexual objects as most of them appearpartially nude on internet websites and music videos which areaccessed easily by adolescents. This exposure leads to objectionableand dangerous sexual practices which might result in contraction ofsexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies. Teens arelikely to engage in early sexual activity, especially when the mediadepicts sexual content disregarding the boundaries of discussion(Collins, Martino, and Shaw, 2010). It is vital for teenagers to beprotected from such adverse situations which have a higher likelihoodof affecting their education and life hence it’s essential toprotect their future.

Irresponsibilityon social media

Thesocial media platform may offer some negative outcomes. People canact irresponsibly. Apart from the inappropriate images posted online,some negative opinions may also be aired on this platform and alsoteens may be exposed to cyber bullying (Wadian etal.,2016). Adolescents may also post negative pictures of themselveseither with drugs or images that are sexually depictive. Thisbehavior is likely to impact the future employment of teenagers giventhat employees may peruse through their online platforms tofamiliarize more on their character (Ahn, 2011). There is apossibility of teenagers being implicated by law through a juvenileprocess due to some of their negative postings.


Itis evident that information presented in the media influences thelife of a typical adolescent. This trend is very perturbing giventhat with the introduction of the new introduction, the situation isunlikely to be curtailed. Policies need to be introduced to monitorand regulate content aired through the media so that exposure toharmful content is minimized. This is a menace that adolescentsimpose on themselves, even though it is unlikely to end soon, certainmeasures should be deployed. Thus, it is vital to have a semblance ofregulating the content accessible to adolescents. There are many waysthrough which social media and technology can be utilized byadolescents hence the need to champion for the active use of thesetools.


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