Hey Butterfly Effecters, 

It's been awhile since I have posted but don't fear I'm back to post my fourth round of research. Before I get into my post, just a quick recap since this is my last research round for the cycle. In my 3 previous rounds, I have investigated what is technology and how it drastically evolved throughout time, how teenagers evolved and the various different types of technology teens use and the sole purposes. Lastly for this round of research, I will be looking into the the broad topic of social media, but more specifically how does technology affect teenagers socially? Social media has a major impact on teens. Whether its a positive or negative impact...... well I'll let you decide for yourself. Without a further or do, here is research round 4!


What is social media?

Social media a form of communication on a global level to stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, customers. (1) Interactions between real people. (2) An online community. (3) New information and communication technologies that enable their users to connect and publicly exchange experiences, opinions, and views on the Internet. (4) Are all valid definitions of social media. Basically, its a way of communicating with others world wide and its similar to a community. A variety of platforms are used on a daily basis by millions of people and has impacted our world in both a negative and positive way. 

What are different platforms of social media that teens use?

As most of us are familiar with Snapchat and Instagram, these 2 apps are commonly used by teens as well as Facebook and Twitter. However, within the United States there has been an increase in teens "dumping" Snapchat for Instagram which is quite peculiar. In the latest survey of 8,600 teens across 48 states, 85% said they use Instagram monthly, while 84% said they use Snapchat. Twitter was third at 46%, then Facebook at 36%. Although 1% doesn't seem like a big deal, the 2 platforms were always equal since their releases until now where Instagram has seen a surge in users. (5)

Image result for social media platforms

What are the positive effects of social media on teenager's lives? 

Emotional Disclosure (strengthen and build relationships) - A technique where people are encouraged to write about their experiences and pain about their past of any event within their lives. Social media gives people a platform to express their opinion and receive support from a variety of people who can help them through this difficult time. Not to mention there has been research that it builds real connections through creating companionship and have closer ties offline. (6)

Inspirational - For most teens, social media is a daily activity where they scroll through feed and some find it quite inspirational because they look up to other celebrities or influencers that inspire them to pursue their dream and take risks outside their comfort zone. (7)

Increase writing and reading skills - Similar to inspirational, some teens may feel persuaded to read a book or post a blog on social media because they see the glam and glory on their social media icon's feed. In order to write heart felt captions and comments, teens are using their creative writing minds to enhance their feed much like influencers. (7)

Share your voice - Social media allows teens to feel as their voice matter within society. If teens are passionate about a certain topic such as poverty, they could take a positive action and steps towards making a difference through a variety of different platforms. Promoting and posting images is a great start to raising awareness for important causes. (8)

 

                         Image result for positive social media

What are the negative effects of social media on teenager's lives?

Normality of violence - Violence is portrayed quite vividly on many different social media platforms such as youtube where video game tutorials are common with many views. As teens become more exposed to these "fake" acts of violence, the more influenced they become to take part in the character's actions within their own lives. (7)

Body Image - As teens see picture perfect models in swimsuits all over their feed, they can feel pressured to look and act the same way as influencers. The standard of beauty is out of this world because photoshop and filters can work their magic but teens (especially girls) feel as they will never look as pretty or be good enough. Images can be distorted and created, but relationships and personality can't. (7)

Lack of independent thinking - Based on what other people think, teens can be easily persuaded on life decisions due to how other's choose to live their lives. For example, if a famous influencer decided to take a gap year and travel the world, sometimes teens would take the same path because they follow their footsteps without testing the water and leaving their own mark. (9)

Lack of sleep - Social media is all within a finger tip away on your phone, tablet, computer, etc but what teens don't realize is the lack of melatonin their bodies produces is based on the amount of screen time. Melatonin is a hormone within our bodies that make us feel tired. (10) The light emitted from technology can reduce amount of melatonin our bodies produce thus making it difficult for teens to sleep. As we all know, sleep is a vital part of us functioning and without it we are basically walking zombies. (9)

 Image result for negative social media

 

That's all for this research round! Thank you everyone who has followed my posts, it means the world to myself and upcoming soon is my metamorphosis. Just a heads up, I am continuing with this topic in the next round so any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

 

Citations

1. https://www.investopedia.com/t...ocial-networking.asp

2. https://heidicohen.com/social-media-definition/

3. https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/social-media

4. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/eho...133577726&db=buh (Peer reviewed)

5. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/eho...132532054&db=bwh (Peer reviewed)

6. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/eho...122603756&db=lxh (Peer reviewed)

7. https://www.momjunction.com/ar...agers_00107975/#gref

8. https://curatti.com/social-media-positive-effects/

9. https://www.rd.com/health/well...cts-of-social-media/

10. https://www.sleep.org/articles/melatonin/

 

Once again, thank you for reading my final round of research (for now) and like always any suggestions, opinions and/or comments are welcome down below!

Original Post

Hi Lauren! 

 Excellent research round - I like how you looked at positive and negatives sides of social media. It's a common stereotype that teens are encouraged not to use social media because of the negative effects, however, there are many positive things about social media when it is used in moderation. 

 I found it very interesting how you mentioned how social media can be an inspiration to others. I find looking at YouTube tutorials of drawings help me with new ideas for art, and I follow writing prompts on Instagram sometimes to get story ideas. Social media has definitely had an influence on art in the past few decades! 

 I also liked your point about social media perpetuating violence. I once read something about people dealing with emotional trauma by reflecting it in media through violence. Maybe that could be something you look at in a future research round? 

 Good luck with your next cycle of research!  

Hey Lauren!

Great post on social media! Like Sophie, reading about the positive effects of social media was nice as we rarely hear about this sort of thing. However, considering how many teens use social media daily, it is evident that there must be some positive effects. The question now is whether or not the good outways the bad. Of course, this is subjective, but it is something interesting that must be thought about carefully. Although staying unbiased is an important part of researching, I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter at the end of your cycle!

Here are some interesting sources about social media and youth that you may use in your next cycle:

https://turbofuture.com/intern...l-media-on-our-youth

https://www.northshore.org/hea...agers-mental-health/

Great job on your inquiry! 

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