Social Media: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly / by Brendan Maher

Facebook and Twitter beware! Gen-Z is catching on to the negative effects of social media on their society. Below is an article written by my close friend and collegue, Madison Rogers. Like myself, she is a high-school student that experiences the positive and negative attributes that social channels bring to our every day lives. 

What does this mean for big brands and marketers? It means that now more than ever you must be extremely cautious on how you go about cultivating your social channels to attract youth. It is a necessity to incorporate youth into your marketing departments. This is the single easiest way to navigate the complicated world of youth culture. You need youth on your side! Reach out to my team at contact@millennialadnetwork.com to see how we can help you connect with the fastest growing demographic in the world!

Also be sure to check out Madi's blog at https://madirogers7.wixsite.com/website it has some amazing material!

More often than not, people choose social media as a form of connection rather than face to face interaction. The constant dependence on cell phones and media has created health problems often seen in teenagers and young adults. According to the Children Mind Institute, experts have noticed a rise in social anxiety and lower self-esteem in teenagers and young adults that frequently use social media. The heavy usage of cellphones and devices are prohibiting the development of important social skills. Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist, described the use of texting, calling, scrolling, and sharing as a collective nonverbal disabled behavior, which affects reading social cues and body language. Teens often feel a need to constantly be communicating with friends and updating statuses. The lack of unengaging from this lifestyle can lead to larger problems such as anxiety and depression. Not receiving  instantaneous responses to text messages, comments, and instant messages has been known to cause depression in teens and young adults. The constant need for gratification for what is put on the internet can expose users to harmful consequences. Teens often become obsessed with their persona that is put on their media page. Frequently editing their photos, changing their appearance, and behaving a certain way on the internet versus their daily life can eventually lead to social anxiety and the fear of people seeing them any other way than what they look like on the internet. Cases of depression seen most frequently in teenagers due to the obsessive and addictive usage of sites such as Facebook has been coined, “Facebook Depression”. This can further lead to social anxiety, withdrawal, and isolation. Teens often turn to blogs as methods of self-help that may encourage substance abuse, self-harm, unsafe sexual activities, or aggressive behavior towards other people in the long-term (American Academy of Pediatrics). Exposing children and young adults to social media has negatively impacted the health and well-being of many, which outweighs the few positive effects that social media can have on society. 

Privacy is put at risk every time a person logs onto any media source. People often share an excessive amount of information about themselves without considering the consequences if that information is put into the wrong hands. Sites are made to hold important information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information that may be compromised if the site crashes or is hacked. Privacy is often overlooked in society. People feel the urge to share everything they are doing on social media sites. From the restaurant they ate dinner at, to the exact location of their households that are connected to posts with GPS, privacy is compromised with each post. Adolescents frequently fall victim to people who create false personas on the internet. This opens the door to larger safety issues. Adolescents and young adults are also more likely to “sext”, or share inappropriate images with others via social media platforms, such as Snapchat (The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a recent survey revealed that 20% of teens have sent or posted semi nude or nude photos or videos of themselves. In some cases, these are charged as felony charges of possession of child pornography. Serious problems can result from information being shared at the hands of people using social media. 

As the internet continues to grow, media will grow with it. Receiving instantaneous results on news and information has allowed social media platforms to flourish. However, social media has negatively affected mental health and the privacy of users. Media will continue to prosper, all at the cost of the well being of its users. The use and viewing of media sources will never end, but ways to properly inform the public of the danger and negative impact of media sources will continue to evolve. 

 

-Madison Rodgers and Jake