Modern day problems the youth face. Social Media.
Social media is defined as the mass media used for the purpose of social interaction.
What is the significance of social media?
Social media has become very significant because of the two most important and precise characteristics of social media.
They are: ubiquity and interactivity.
Ubiquity: Ubiquity is the sense that new media technologies affect everyone in the societies they are employed, even if everyone in the society may not be the audience of such a media.
Interactivity: The second significant issue that distinguishes new media from traditional mass media channels and content is the persistent sagacity of interactivity associated with new media channels, that is, the selectivity and reach that media technologies offer users in their choices of information sources and interaction with other people.
Key Roles Played by Social Media
Of the many roles executed by the social media, the following are the most prominent and key roles played by the social media. Social media has wide-ranging functions that turned imperative in a person’s day to day life. Life without social media is beyond imagination and turns to be very crucial.
Communication: Social media turned to be one of the most effective communication tools in the history of communication. With more interactive technology involved in communication, the feel through this way of communication is rather very lively and gives a feel of face to face communication. It has an added advantage of the ability of very easily monitoring change initiatives. Social media is not only the media of extroverts, but also of introverts. They have the freedom of communicating at an ease without directly facing the responder, unlike in face to face
Education: The third major role played by the social media is educating the masses. Virtual classes around the world are made possible through social media. Especially during this pandemic, schools, universities, workplaces etc have taken precautionary measures against spreading the virus and so meetings/lessons are mostly online.
Entertainment: Social media is the new media that offers the audience a great entertainment. It enables the user to get all sorts of multimedia content, thereby dispelling all the limitations which otherwise are possessed by each of the traditional media. It has all good qualities of each and every conventional media embedded in it and more advanced features added to it.
What are the challenges the youth face because of social media?
Despite the fact that social media play the vital roles such as communication, entertainment, education etc, it poses few major challenges too. The following are the most prominent challenges posed by the social media to the youth.
Social Media and Bullying: Cyber bullying has become a major issue among youths in the last couple of decades, as it allows its victim’s to post things in front of their peers and humiliate them. Bullying is defined as an aggressive act that is carried out by a group or an individual repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself. With the use of Internet and mobile phones, a new form of bullying has emerged, often called ‘cyber bullying’. In cyber-bullying, aggression occurs via electronic method, via the Internet and especially through social media. Those who cyber bully have the ability to hide their identity posing as someone else, through false identities to terrorise their victims, similar to the previous catfish examples.
Recent studies indicate that approximately 20–35% of adolescents report involvement in bullying either as a bully, a victim or both. The National Children’s Home study in Britain found that one in four children reported being bullied on the Internet. These issues left teenagers with deep mental scars, and have even lead to teen suicides. There are many stories about students at all grade levels engaging in severe harassing behaviour that prompts suicides or inflicts lasting physical or emotional scars.
The many deaths, suicides, and emotional problems among our youths have started several moral debates about the side effect of social media. Bullying victimisation has currently been associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviours, as well as an increased risk of mental health problems. These findings stress the importance of programs aimed at reducing bullying behaviour, especially because early-onset mental health problems may pose a risk for the development of psychiatric disorders in adulthood.10 The link between online bullying and suicide, especially among young people, has come to the attention of the authorities. Exchanging hostile messages on the Internet is now treated as a crime. Some are requesting to end the anonymity in cyberspace, and others want offenders to be punished in court. Several nations have now passed laws against cyber bullying in order to protect bully victims.
Pornography: Exposure to pornographic material on the Internet is common, with 70% of adolescents aged 15–17 years reporting accidental exposure and 72% of college students reporting exposure before age 18 years. Gynaecologists should be aware of the significant health implications for adolescents because exposure to pornography has been linked to a more permissive attitude towards unprotected sex and high-risk sexual behaviours, including having multiple partners, anal sex, and using alcohol and drugs during sex . Exposure to violent pornographic material has been linked to sexually aggressive behaviours; data have shown that boys exposed in early adolescence are more likely to engage in sexual harassment in middle adolescence. Pornography also has been shown to have a negative influence on attitudes and ideas toward women, sexuality, and healthy relationships.
Sleep Deprivation: Higher rates of depression, suicidal ideation, obesity, and poorer school performance have been demonstrated in sleep-deprived adolescents, especially in those getting 6 hours or fewer of sleep per night. In addition to distraction and less sleep because of time spent on social media, the electronic devices themselves may be contributing to poor sleep quality in adolescents. Studies have shown that the light emitted from most electronic screens can disrupt circadian rhythms by delaying the release of melatonin, resulting in sleep disturbances . Adolescents have a natural forward shift in their circadian rhythms, often resulting in a tendency to stay up later and difficulty falling asleep; the added effects of electronic media can exacerbate these sleep problems. Adolescents should be advised to aim for 9 hours of sleep per night and to avoid using electronic devices before bed to improve sleep quality.
Internet Addiction: Internet addiction is defined as uncontrollable use of the Internet that results in excessive time consumption or social dysfunction . Internet addiction has a similar pathology to other addictions, which result in interpersonal, family, and social problems.
Sumy State University