Impact of Social Media on Youth
Social media has been ingrained into our society today to such extent that it is virtually impossible for people to take you seriously, if you are not on any social media platform. Everyone is on social media – young, old, rich, poor etc. Everyone is always in a frenzy when it comes to socializing online. Even the corporate world has jumped into the bandwagon and companies are very active online, posting updates and answering queries.


There are many social networks to choose from; some of the popular ones include Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. As the popularity of social media keeps on spreading all over the world, there have been mixed feelings about these networks and how they impact the youth. So, how does social media affect the youth?
To answer this question, we have to look at both the positive and negative impacts of social media on the youth. Going with the former first, social media has reduced the world to a global village. Youth can interact with people from other parts of the earth by just a click of the button. Through these interactions, young people can share ideas, acquire information and also be exposed to many opportunities out there. Secondly, social media give them the avenue and opportunity to make new friends and also allows them to maintain their old friends. With social media, they can trace their former friends by simply typing their names or just indicating the school they attended. Then, the network will do all the dirty work and link them to all people they went to school with.
In addition, they can earn a considerable amount of money by running podcasts and vlogs. Social media is also an avenue that they can use to showcase their talents. Youth can also run businesses through social media. They may share whatever goods and services they offer to friends and in groups and for a wider coverage, they may sponsor their posts to reach more people.

It is also an avenue where people can express their honest opinions. People who are naturally shy may say whatever they wish in public forums, without the fear of serious repercussions. It is also a cheaper means of communication. What is required is just internet bandwidth and a few keystrokes and users can communicate with virtually anyone on earth. Social media has also made it possible for people to work from anywhere on earth. This is referred to as virtual teaming. Though hired in the same organization, these virtual workgroups are operating from different parts of the earth. However, their communication is done online.
Too much social media also leads to addiction. Society today is full of people seating next to each other, not talking, but just staring at their phones. Youths are spending more time with their social media friends than with their families, friends and loved ones. When they wake up, the first thing they check is their social media accounts. Before they go to sleep, the last thing they check are the updates. At work, there is reduced productivity because people are busy spending working hours perusing through social media pages. With too many distractions, they cannot fully concentrate on their tasks. Take away social media for a day and the effects will start to kick in. Just like drug addicts, they will be withdrawn and stressed.
These social platforms are also risky and dangerous and may be frontiers of crime. The first crime that comes to mind when we talk about social media is cyberbullying. Most people in social media fake both their personas and personal information. Then there are those who are actually themselves in social media.

This can be detrimental to their lives in the future, because to maintain relationships there has to be some form of communication. Also, the networks are full of trolls or individuals who gain fun spreading propaganda and false information. This can drive people into hysteria, if the fake news involves their friends and loved ones.One major development in the corporate world is that employers monitor their employees’ social media accounts. So, if employees post things that put the company in a bad light, then the company has no option but to relieve them off their duties. People usually assume that the employer tolerates whatever the employees do online. As a result, the company’s image takes a heavy blow whenever its employees misbehave.
There are instances where people announce the challenges they are going through. It may be sickness or lose of a loved one or a broken relationship. We see people posting their condolences or consolation messages to make the poster feel good. The reality of the matter is that they do not feel any form of remorse.They just do it out of natural conviction and forget about the incident as soon as they move to the next post. As for the person suffering, he/she does not feel any better. In fact, a person who is physically visited by few friends and loved ones feels much better than a person who gets a million messages on social media with no actual visits.
As Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Social media is a great way to pass time and see whatever is happening around the world. It is very interesting and also very addictive. However, social media is eclipsed by so many challenges, because it is unregulated.
The creators of these networks did not anticipate that their creations would be centers of crime and social decay. Doing away with social media may not be practical or advantageous to society. However, some form of regulation should be put into place to ensure that people responsible for all lewd and violent stuff on the internet are brought to book.

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