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Social media influence on teenagers

Social networks like Facebook and  Instagram control what is popular by sharing or reposting celebrities images which unificates body shapes and fashion.Social media is feeding depression amongst teenagers.Respect is the key in our society. The Internet influences global fashion trends as many teenagers have ventured deeply into modern fashion and designs which has interfered and has eroded most of the African culture. 
A young person using social media.|FILE

It has led to online hate speech which can stay online for a long time in different formats across multiple platforms which can be linked repeatedly . We’re supposed to learn to be polite and civil in the society  but what we have right now is a situation where a number of role models are acting the opposite of that and by watching it ,we vicariously feel it and our own attitudes and behaviours change as a result. 

Digital nastiness has instilled bad behaviours in children and its affecting children. What’s affecting kids is their mistrust of grown-ups who are behaving so badly.Social media satisfies a human need for connection where users bond over common interests and establish digital relationships with their favourite public figures following and commenting on their lives just like they do their  friends.

Social media is an atmosphere devoid  of the social cues that mitigate behaviour in real life whereby when violating social norms in person there’s immediate feedback from others through body language and tone of voice.Digital nastiness  poses a cruel and humiliating posts which often have become an instant hit online.Young people who may be the most plugged in are getting mixed messages as they form their moral concepts.

In the contemporary digital age,social media has become an integral part of teenagers' lives, profoundly influencing their behaviours, attitudes and perceptions.This explores the multifaceted influence of social media on teenagers, encompassing both its positive and negative ramifications and proposes strategies for fostering a healthy relationship with digital platforms.

Social media platforms offer teenagers unprecedented opportunities for connectivity and communication,enabling them to stay connected with peers, family and global communities.

Instant messaging,video calls and social networking sites facilitate the exchange of ideas, support networks and cultural exchanges,fostering a sense belonging and inclusivity.

Social media serves as a digital canvas for teenagers to express their identities, interests and creativity through posts, photos and videos.

However, the pressure to create a perfect online persona can lead to self comparison, identity crises and the reinforcement of unrealistic beauty standards affecting self esteem of the well being.Influence on social and cultural norms where teenagers are highly susceptible to the influence of social media influences, celebrities and peer groups shaping their attitudes, behaviours and consumption patterns.Trends,challenges and viral content propagated through social media can both reflect and perpetuate societal norms, stereotypes and ideologies influencing teenagers perceptions of social issues and values.

Mental health and well being are affected whereby excessive use of social media has been associated with various mental issues including anxiety, depression and social isolation.Cyberbullying, online harassment and the fear of missing out contribute to heightened stress levels and negative psychological outcomes among teenagers.

Social media has greatly led to addiction and distraction whereby the addictive nature of social media platforms characterized by endless scrolling, notifications and likes can lead to compulsive behaviours and reduced productivity.

Excessive screen time and digital distractions may interfere with academic performance, sleep patterns and real life social interactions exacerbating the detrimental effects of social media on teenagers' well being.

Social media exerts a profound influence on teenagers shaping their social interactions, self perceptions and mental health while offering unprecedented opportunities for connectivity, self expression and cultural exchange, social media also poses significant challenges including cyber bullying ,addiction and negative psychological outcomes which can be of greater effect.

STORY By BRIAN JUMA, Second Year student at Chuka University taking Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.
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