Social Media: An Unbalancing Tool for Teens

Social Media: An Unbalancing Tool for Teens

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Shoaib Sultan

There is no doubt, the handheld devices have made our teens very crazy towards social media networks, like Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and many more. No doubt, among all Facebook and WhatsApp have taken them to the edge of social isolation, less family interaction and physically shutdown.

There is agreeable that social media has provided space for digital citizenship where anyone from any corner of the world can interact in minimal time span. While it is also true that it becomes problematic, when teens are lacking balance in their everyday lives, indulging themselves in texting, posting, tweeting etc. to the exclusion of other activities like exercise, seeing their friends in person and getting out of the house. These habits thus second the health issues. However, socialising through a virtual world does not meet the true aspects of socializing and create a huge gap, where a person is afraid to host a real world with all real challenges.

The parents and elders in our context have very less and minor understanding about the effective use of technology in networking and education are less aware about the negative sides of this contemporary communicating tool. Due to this fact, the opportunities enabling parents to keep watchful-eye on their younger ones i.e. Parental-check control are either being neglected or utilized lesser.

The reason behind teens’ craziness toward social media is, its appealing features like watching and posting self-made videos, taking symmetric and asymmetric photographs in single click and instant texting tools using personal devices. This world of fascination depicts unreal pictorial scenarios, that takes our youth to applause agreeably for hallucination. The acceptance of the day-to- day trends of clicking, lead them to lower degree of discrimination with that to capture for knowledge or awareness.

Being novice and less ready towards virtual world, who have not been exposed to blessing and curses of modern technology. Some of my observations are as under

Our teens have forgotten to enjoy the sunshine and charms of open world.

  1. Almost all teens are losing out on the ability to learn about and read social cues. They cannot learn to read non-verbal behaviour properly if most of their interacting goes on in the virtual world.
  2. The young generation is lacking skills of face to face interaction. Part of learning is to be a good friend, co-worker etc. is to learn how to cooperate with others. This is not a skill learned on the Internet.
  3. Social inclusion is a healthy activity but this should not be kept limited to the social media as our teens need to learn to be inclusive physically and digitally rather than physically excluding and cliquing.
  4. I feel the teens need to learn how to deal with free time without staring at a screen. With less screen time, they will have more opportunity to learn how to relax and use leisure time.
  5.  Social media creates excessive hypocrisy, fear and a situation of mistrust. This is because positive messages are read as more neutral than they are intended to be; neutral messages are read as more negative as they are intended to be and one can only imagine what happens with messages that are intended to be negative.
  6. Our youth has been suffering from depression, tension, frustration and different other signs of mental illnesses for the reason of false communications-built up, where they are indulged in anticipating good out of the illusion.
  7. Young boys and girls have been found becoming more aggressive and sexual when they feel anonymous and are communicating electronically. Things can get out of hand very quickly with both cyber-bullying and sexuality, as we are painfully aware.
  8. Our youth has been suffering from depression, tension, frustration and different other signs of mental illnesses for the reason of false communications-built up, where they are indulged in anticipating good out of the illusion.

The assumptions and comments I have made in this article are based on my personal experience and discussions took place with some of my teachers, friends, students and teenagers. Who feel they have been sucked by the whirl of modern technology. Yes, it is equally true that it has become a fashion and need of the time for young, old and people of all ages.

Finally, parents, teachers, community leaders and family elders are requested to educate the young children and school going students, how to spend a good life in this modern world, benefiting from all novel means of information and communication, without reaching to the edges of social isolation, less family interaction and physically shutdown.

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Pamir Times is the pioneering community news and views portal of Gilgit – Baltistan, Kohistan, Chitral and the surrounding mountain areas. It is a voluntary, not-for-profit, non-partisan and independent venture initiated by the youth.