How Can Your Teens Benefit from Social Media?
Social media has greatly impacted the minds of young ones and teens. Social media platforms are notorious for exposing teens to several dangerous online threats such as cyberbullying, sexting, pornography, and pedophilia.
Almost every day we hear cases of teens being cyberbullied or teens falling prey to online predators on different social media platforms. Easy access to most social media platforms has made it easier for bad people to target young kids and teens and take advantage of them.
Due to this reason, most parents think that social media is bad for their kids. Indeed, social media can negatively influence teens’ lives and cause them to do bad things or have feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. However, if parents can instill healthy online habits among teens, social media won’t be a problem for them.
Parents can inculcate healthy habits among teens by asking them to use social media safely and responsibly, to spend less time on the internet and social media, and to monitor their online activity with the help of effective monitoring or parental control app.
Social media negatively impacts teens when they misuse the platforms for doing bad things such as public shaming, slut-shaming, rumor spreading, mistreating, and bullying. Several studies have shown that teens can derive numerous benefits from social media.
You must have come across a plethora of articles stating the disadvantages, negative effects of social media, and social media issues for teens. But it would be rare to read posts highlighting the benefits social media can bring for teens. Let’s discuss how teens can benefit from social media.
Friendships play a key role in every teen’s life. Healthy friendships make teens feel more connected to the world. It also gives them a sense of empowerment because they feel accepted for who they are and they can choose friends on their own.
Friends can help them identify their true strengths and encourage them to chase their dreams and make them turn true. Social media helps teens strengthen friendships. Teens who have more friends are less likely to be bullied by someone because they are not alone or isolated. Hence, friendships protect teens from bullying.
A survey by Common Sense Media stated that 52% of teens felt that social media has helped improved their friendships whereas only 4% felt that it caused them pain. In addition to that, the same study found that around 30% of social media users believe that the platforms enable them to connect with others, making them feel more confident and outgoing.
Encourages to Do Good
Social media has proved to be beneficial for teens because it helps them make a strong impact in their online communities. A teen can develop fundraisers, support an important cause, and spread awareness for an issue with the help of social media platforms.
Social media has also given teens their voices; voices that can be heard more frequently. They can let others hear their message by making content on YouTube or developing campaigns on Facebook or Twitter. They can also broadcast live video sessions if they are present at an important social event.
Reduces Feelings of Solitude
Studies have shown that social media can make adults feel alone whereas it has reduced feelings of isolation for teens. Teens no longer feel lonely because of social media. Gone are the days when they used to rely on real friendships based in schools. Now, with the advent of technology and social media, they can make as many friends as they like on the internet and do not feel lonely anymore.
Social media has helped teens become more confident, smart, and outgoing. It has made them realize their inner strengths, helping them become more extroverted and independent. This confidence and independence that they’ve got by spending time on social media have enabled them to make more friendships, thus reducing feelings of isolation. It’s a cherry on the top for them especially if those friendships are authentic and healthy.
Social media platforms have also helped teens in developing strong social and communication skills. In fact, the use of social media requires them to have basic social skills. Those lacking communication skills can greatly benefit from social media because online platforms are the best place to learn some social skills. Teens can learn more new methods of online communication through social media.
Source of Gathering Information
Most people now use social media as a source of news and information than other traditional media tools such as newspapers, TV, radio, etc. Apps like Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have been incredible sources of gathering information on the latest trends.
Teens can gather news and information from social media platforms. As soon as they enter the world of social media, they can gather information about any individual just by following their account or liking their page.
They can follow their favourite celebs, sportsperson, chefs, authors, magazines, NGOs, TV show, movie, or any brand that they like on several social media platforms. They can collect useful information from social media for their homework and school assignments. They can also read informative articles on different issues that impact them or their close friends. For instance, if one of their friends is involved in drug addiction or is going through a problem, they can look up for it on social media.
Encourages to Showcase Talent
Online platforms including social media have helped teens channel their inner creativity and talent and showcase it to the world. Social media apps like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram has helped teens showcase their extraordinary skills to users from across the globe and garner appreciation and support from them.
Teens who are interested in fashion, make up, acting, or singing can use social media platforms to showcase their talent and creativity to the world. This gives them confidence and boosts their self-esteem because they are making a niche for themselves.
Teens can enjoy being themselves. When they are able to express themselves fully and wholeheartedly to the audience, they can be more content and happier with their lives. What’s more, the praise and appreciation that they receive from social media platforms can help them build careers for themselves and earn money, becoming financially independent at a younger age.
Parents need to change their mindset of social media being scary and dangerous for teens. Online platforms can indeed be exploited by bad people, spreading cyberbullying and other digital threats, but once teens are aware of those threats, they can stay away from them.
Social media monitoring can help parents keep teens safe on social media platforms as they can keep a close eye on everything they’re doing there. They can monitor their instant chats, social media posts, photos, videos, and information that they share publicly with everyone.
Last but not least, parents should teach kids how to use social media and the internet responsibly and safely. This can only be done if they have an open and honest conversation with them about internet safety.