Although social media has certain risks on the life of tween and teen, but we must appreciate how it supported our young people during COVID-19 when schools and outdoor activities were closed, and we had no option to depend on gadgets. We may help nurture the positive aspects by accepting how important social media is for kids and helping them find ways for it to add real value to their lives. Some famous social media platforms include Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Pinterest. All such platforms are popular among young people and may entertain them in list of ways, as given below:
No boundaries for knowledge and develop connections: Social media provides opportunity to understand worldviews and help teens to obtain knowledge on range of topics. Now, people may discover their areas of interests and may gather knowledge and information in their desired fields. Further, social media help us to build connections beyond borders where there is no access otherwise.
Social media may overcome the difficulty of disabled and bullied teens who feel that they cannot connect with anyone within their community.
Strengthen Relationships and Friendships: Social media is not only a strong medium to stay in touch with family and friends who live miles apart, but also it has strengthened relationships and increased communications among family and friends rather it was decades before.
Years ago, if teens were interested in a quirky subject or were grappling with who they were as a person, they often felt marginalized and alone. Today, teens can connect with others that share similar interests, desires, and concerns. This connection helps them feel validated and secure in who they are.
Research has shown that having at least one solid friendship can go a long way in preventing bullying. In fact, bullies often target teens that are alone or isolated. But teens that have a core group of friends often have a built-in layer of protection from bullying.
Develop Communication Skills and Improve Behaviors: Through diversified communities, social media helps teens to improve communication skills and make them learn how to interact with other people online. They observe feelings and reactions of people while having discussions with them which may help them to improve their communications and behaviors.
Social Campaigning for Good Cause: Social media may help young people to raise awareness of a particular cause that they are interested in to have a real-world impact on effecting change where they want to see it. They can generate funds for good cause and may help needy people or may become their voice in time of need. Now, young people may feel more empowered and connected with other world.
Social media also exposes kids to important issues all over the world, not just those in their communities. As a result, they realize that social media is a way for them to help and support people even from far away. They can instantaneously make an impact on things like hunger, or providing educational tools for kids without resources.
Develop a Positive Digital Footprint: Young people can also use their accounts as bespoke CVs to share their achievements, showcase their talents and build a positive online portfolio that can benefit them in later life. Building a platform on social media can open a lot of doors for teens and help them build a positive online reputation. It also can expose them to college scholarships, college networks, and even a future career. And it can change their perspective on social media. It’s no longer just a place to post silly pictures or observe digital drama. It becomes a tool they can use to share their passions and eventually find a career path.
Reduces Isolation and Depression: While social media can make adults feel lonelier, researchers are finding the opposite may be true for teens. A study published in 2015 found that even though teens have fewer friends than teens did a decade ago, they still report feeling less lonely than their counterparts. They also report feeling less isolated. Researchers suggest that the difference is social media and technology.
As teens find their niche, they are becoming more individualistic and more extroverted and have higher self-esteem. This increased individuality makes teens more secure in existing friendships and reduces feelings of loneliness overall. This is especially true if those friendships are healthy.
Allows for Personal Expression: Digital technology is the perfect tool for channeling creativity and personal expression. Whether kids enjoy singing, writing, or acting, they can share these talents with the world around them. Kids who enjoy fashion, make-up trends, or craft projects can express themselves online. Providing this avenue of self-expression is important for teens.
Research published in 2019 shows that there is a direct connection between self-expression and self-confidence. When kids are given avenues for being authentic and true to themselves, they become content with who they are and happier overall.
By contrast, when they do not have many opportunities to express themselves or they do not know people with the same passions or interests, they begin to wonder if there is something wrong with them. They also question why they are not like everyone else.
A Word from Very well: Overall, social media does not have to be scary. Even though it can be exploited by bullies, instilling good digital etiquette and maintaining an open dialogue about online safety can go a long way in keeping kids safe online. As a parent, make sure you are nurturing the positive aspects of social media as well as discussing the dangers. By doing so, you will help your kids develop social media savvy, a skill that will ultimately help them in the years to come.