Today, many scholars and media experts have began studying how various problems fall into play when users become oversaturated with the consumption of media. These problems include loss of confidence, lack of communication, and the destruction of creativity. Many of these become evident when users turn to social media for entertainment but instead, unintentionally start to rely on their phones so much so that it becomes a normality. This results in studies of how social media plays a part in a person’s emotions and thinking process. Unfortunately, some obstacles are presented with the study of media because you can’t box majority of consumers into variable factors such as age, educational ranking, or socio-economic level. While considering these obstacles, social media experts have established that the use of media does play a role in the problems listed above.
One factor to consider when discussion the effects of social media is how accessible it is to a user and what role accessibility plays in a teenagers self judgement. For those from a different generation, the idea of posting a “selfie” online or posting very personal information such as locations, circle of friends, and emotional/family problems seems very unusual. But for the teenagers and young adults today, these events are frequently seen and it is evident that many users of social media strive to be accepted regardless of the cost. At first glance, this search for self worth seems like a harmless fad but with critical analysis it can be drawn to why a teenager feels discouraged or unaccepted. More often than not this search for kinship results in a loss of confidence as opposed to feelings of empowerment which again leads to the topic of self-confidence.
Confidence is a key component in a person’s everyday life regardless if they are male or female. Modern social media effects a user’s confidence level as many reluctantly admit to a loss of confidence. A major reason for their low confidence levels sprouts from the urge the average boy or girl has to look skinnier. This urge is largely caused by the correlation between being thin and being attractive is formulated inside social media sources. According to a recent study of social media by the Dove self esteem project “82 percent of women feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic,” according to the Dove study (DOVE). And “almost three quarters of men and women believe social media comments that critique their appearances are destructive to their self-esteem” (DOVE). Upon analyzing the Dove study, one can conclude that social media does produce feelings of negativity. As stated in the data, more than 8 out of 10 women emphasize that they feel unacceptable in society post social media exposure. Data and numerical studies such as those conducted by dove should not be overlooked when discussing the pros and cons of social media. Unfortunately, the chance of discussing topics such as the effects of social media on self confidence are very slim given the fact that many intellectual discussions are seen as not important to American standards of living. Furthermore, I have concluded that if Americans wish to boost confidence in themselves as well as end these false depictions of beauty, those who use social media must realize that they should not feel unattractive just because someone in their timeline is portrayed as more attractive. Creativity is another trait that is affected by media usage. One’s ability to think creatively is directly proportional to how intelligent the person is. Based on years of firsthand experience as well as the research I have done on the effects of social media, I insist that the creative nature of a teenager is quickly drained when a teenager spends majority of their time on outlets such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. An example of this drainage can be seen when a teenager doesn’t think twice about checking these outlets. In reality we all know someone that is constantly on there phone the moment they become bored even if other forms of entertainment are accessible. With that someone in mind, consider the other options that person has to cure there boredom. Whether it is opening up more conversation with loved ones, or engaging in a sport to pass the time, or shaving off a few minutes of phone usage to pick up a musical instrument, the opportunities are endless. A teenager’s tendency to substitute these opportunities depends on the outlook a child’s parent has on social media usage. Unfortunately a teen’s parent usually doesn’t intervene usually because they are unaware that social media actually threatens their child’s creativity.
Another teenage trait that is affected by media is communication. Based on my eye-witness knowledge as well as the picture above, I conclude that a family’s communication is negatively affected by media on a daily basis. With that being said I believe that a large part of a teen’s poor communication is caused by the parents in America not sitting their child down and forming a concrete amount of time their child can use media. A piece of evidence explaining why parents should encourage their teens to use less time on media can be found on a CNN article regarding this issue. According to Kelly Wallace’s CNN post “On any given day, teens in the United States spend about nine hours using media for their enjoyment, according to the report by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents and educators navigate the world of media and technology” (CNN). This statement places a large number on the well known extreme teenage media usage, nine hours! This astronomical amount of time just goes to show how much time social media steals from communication, and this number does not include the time a teen uses their phone for educational purposes which proves to pale in comparison with media usage. Another statement found on the same article saying “Texting is so much less empathetic than having a conversation in person and looking somebody in the eye and having physical or at least a verbal presence with them” (CNN). This quote brings empathy into the conversation of teenage communication saying that using media makes it even harder for a person to develop communication skills. I can give my affirmation on teenage lack of communication through a story about my cousin(s). One time my family and I were visiting my aunt Julie’s house for a holiday reunion. When we rang the doorbell we were greeted by only my aunt and her husband and my cousins were nowhere to be found. Shortly after we entered, my aunt said “Yea, the kids don’t want to come down they have been in there rooms for the past three hours go get them.” Then I went to my cousin Matthew’s room and him and his sister were glued to their phones until I told them to come downstairs. Even the whole time we were there my cousins were hardly interacting with my family and I. It got so bad that we had to ignore that they were even there because their presence was non-existent. Situations like these will only grow and scale with our technological race. This is our problem and I hope the use of media in teens dwindles slowly but surely thus, resolving our problem.
Upon taking the time to read my paper, I hope the explanations and reasoning throughout this text have achieved their goal of bringing my concerns of modern media to light. I sincerely believe that in order for America to prosper we the people have to start discussing the negatives media brings an individual, even if media as a whole is not entirely negative. First comes recognition of the negatives, then comes the effort to transform these negatives into positivity. A positivity that will clear up an individual’s social media mirage allowing them to fix their absence of creativity, communication and confidence. Pretty soon, I believe society will become over-encumbered with the problems media brings and we will no longer be able to ignore these problems. In the meantime, I strongly advise taking the measures listed within the body of my paper if you wish to circumscribe the negative effects social media has on our lives. Thank you for reading my propositions and taking the time to interpret my work. Remember that media as well as all things negative can only interrupt you if you allow it to.
CNN, Teenage Media usage article, https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/03/health/teens-tweens-media-screen-use-report/ index.html, November 3, 2015
I chose this article because it cooperates with my standpoint on teenage communication and provides the readers of my essay with evidence as to why I believe that media affects families negatively. I felt that the article on CNN presented good research and factual evidence that would contribute to my paper’s logos. It also helped me bring up the conversation of child cell phone usage and gave me factual numbers that come up in the body of my paper.
CSM, Common Sense Media Census, https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research, 2015
I included the Common Sense Media Census website in my essay because It got the ball rolling for my research and presented me with a good approach towards my topic of self confidence and how it is affected by media. I found this website and its proposals very factual and it is evident that the website contains contributors and sponsors with good credibility and degrees along the topic of social media and teenage development.
Dove, University of Florida, Dove self-esteem project, January 2016
The Dove self-esteem project, established and proposed in January of the year 2016 by the University of Florida is an elaborate project that has emphasis on almost everything I have wrote about in my paper so it would be irrational for me not to include this into my bibliographies. The project has contributed to the vast study of how media affects teenage development and is now focused on how the use of media and social media at a young age affects both teens and adults’ self esteem negatively.
Dr. Patti M, Valkenburg, Jochen Peter, and Alexander P. Schouten. CyberPsychology, 2007
I included this article because it sparked interest in me and fueled some aspects of my essay such as some of my solutions that I stated would help out the users of social media etc. I assume that this article is trustworthy in this field because it was published by CyberPsychology which is a branch of study focused on developing solutions and awareness for the upcoming technologically bound generation
Livingstone S, Parental mediation. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. 2008
This Journal was used in my paper because I used it to get a background on the other forms of media such as broadcasts on TV and radio stations which allowed me to contrast the outcomes of these sources with the ones listed in my paper. I deemed this as a credible source because I did not find any flaws in what I was reading in the article.