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Dear Shannon Kyle
After reading your article on the “10 Reasons Social Media Is Great for Teenagers” I understand that your argument is essentially that social media is great way for teenagers to find entertainment and to network. I also acknowledge the fact that social media is convenient way to expand your social circle. However, on the whole, I am in disagreement with your article for many reasons.
Firstly, these so called social circles and online friends could be anyone. Some people pose as another a person in order to lure the other person in; a term commonly known as a catfish. This is a person who aims to deceive the young and vulnerable teenagers of today’s society into sharing personal information and pictures of themselves which can be used against them. It is through these online hidden personas where grooming, trafficking and paedophilia come into play.
Moreover, another reason why social media is counter-productive is because many teenagers do not experience life in person. Alternatively, they replace real life experiences with virtual ones. Teenagers are stuck in this virtual reality where everything is fraudulent or deceptive. Teenagers do not acquire the skills to meet real people and converse and interact with them face to face, thus leaving the individual with no applicable socialising skills which often leaves them struggling in life.
Social media gives a false and unrealistic image of what teenager’s should look like and the type of personality they should encompass. Mostly girls are affected by this perception but boys can also be affected. This fake perception affects the minds of the teenagers by making them feel psychologically and physically obliged to look painfully perfect. Teenager undergo major changes to their appearance and personalities to try to fit into this fabricated and distorted image of perfection which social media enforces in the minds of teenagers. Not only does this encourage insecurities to develop but also advocates a feeling of inadequacy amongst younger generations.
I do agree that social media is an easy way to share pictures and boost self-esteem. However, with the increased use of social media, cyber bullying is also on the increase. More than 50% of teenagers said that they have received abusive comments about their appearance and body image on social media accounts. In spite of social media platforms claiming that there is no cyber bullying, cyber bullying is still at large ruining the confidence of teenagers. Cyber bullying can come in many forms
The first is by posting a hurtful image or a video shaming another person. This form of bullying is common amongst social media. Posting a hurtful image or video shaming and making fun of another person’s looks, body image or gender makes the other person often feel worthless. This form of bullying has many detrimental effects such as inflicting an individual with feelings of self-consciousness, making the other person turn to self-harm and the worst yet making the other person commit suicide.
The second form of cyber bullying is through harassing another person on social media. This includes making rude comments about another person’s appearance, sending rude and abusive threatening messages directed to one specific person and many more. Harassment also makes the other person feel unsafe with such unwarranted attention being inflicted on them.
The final form of cyber bullying is when an individual uses a social media platform to pretend to be someone else. This form of bullying is widely known as catfish. This is when someone poses as another person on a social media account. The “catfish” aims to leak out personal information about the person they are posing as. Also, the ‘catfish’ could share untrue and potentially damaging information about the other person in order to spread fake rumours like wildfire and provoke gossip about that individual.
In conclusion social media deteriorates the minds of the young, vulnerable and gullible teenager of today’s society. Social media instils a false and fabricated perception of life be it through image or personality. This subsequently ruins the lives of teenagers as many, if not all, become fixated on the notion of conforming to these unattainable standards that social media dictates
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