With a touch of a button, teenagers can enter into a whole new world. A world with peer pressure, excitement, connections and danger. Social media has taken over the world today. Every where you go, you will see people walking around with their hands and eyes glued to their phone screens, barely looking up to see their surroundings. If you sit in a restaurant, you see little kids with smart phones in their hands to keep them quiet and controlled, along with teenagers barely acknowledging their parents sitting right next to them. Matter of fact, I took a break from writing this piece to scroll through Instagram as a "break".
In today's society, researchers have gathered evidence that shows the average person spends more time on their phone than they do sleeping. The world today is sucked into a technology vortex that gives them a different place to spend than in reality. Today, the online world is a click away which can be extremely dangerous for young teens and children. With being able to hide anyone's real identity and portray themselves as someone different brings many different issues into the picture.
Sex trafficking today is at an all-time high and has become a dangerous scenario in all states. Sex traffickers are starting to use the internet to prey on young, vulnerable teen boys and girls. They are able to hide who they really are by changing their name, age and picture to entice children into talking to them. Once predators are able to gain the trust of the prey, they tend to set up a meeting with them and conduct their actions from there. Many teens are so vulnerable and trustworthy because the availability that the internet gives them, that it leads them to potentially the scariest moment of their life. By being able to see pictures, fake or real, they feel a sense of knowing this person and feel safe to tell them private information despite the lectures from their parents to not trust strangers. The internet and social media feeds teenagers and children false information and shows them a world that people want them too see.
One thing about social media that people rarely understand is that, everything they see on the internet is not what it seems to be. People put out certain pictures and information to convince people that they are living a good life, when in reality, they most likey are not. Instagram models have become a popular culture today that leads many young girls to look up too. They feel a sense of connection with these women and believe that if they can live that life than so can they. However, one thing they do not understand is how unhealthy these models can be in order to look like that. It puts an immense amount of pressure on teenage girls to grow up being one hundred and twenty pounds with an hour glass figure and big butt, big boobs and thighs with an unrealistic flat stomach. It leads many girls into believing that they must look like that in order to be pretty or to get the guy that they want. So, if their inspiration or hero looks like that, then they must look like that too in order to live a lavish life. But what many girls do not understand is that it is highly unpredictable for them to achieve those looks. Teenager girls are desperate to look like Kim Kardashian or Instagram models so they will do anything to replicate it. It leads down a very unhealthy and dangerous road. It can lead to bulimia and anorexia which are the two most common eating disorders among teenager girls and young adult women. Along with seeing false hope, it can lead to bullying and peer pressure.
Many kids use social media to broadcast to the entire world what they are doing every day and how they are doing it. Snapchat is a very common used app that kids believe are viewed by the private eye of their friends. However, what they do not understand is that once something is put over the internet, apps and all, it will always be there. Snap chats disappear to the common user but it will always be on the internet to be tracked down. One way kids are using Snapchat nowadays are to show the type of physical and verbal abuse they do to other children. There was a group of boys, that thought it would be funny to Snapchat record their entire bullying incident among an autistic child. They believed that the recording of them pulling a gun on this kids head and calling him malicious names and yelling racial slurs would simply disappear after 24 hours but that was not the case. Kids do not think about their actions before committing it and they do not understand how putting what they are doing out on social media, for all to see, can truly impact their life in the future. Although cyber bullying is a thing of the past, it is much bigger now. With all kids having access to the internet one way or another, and having the "confidentiality" of it being on the internet, they believe they can say or do whatever to others and they will be protected. They are typing words through their keyboards to bring down other children and do not understand the impact it has on people. Words can kill just like hands can. Words have a huge impact on people, and have a much bigger impact on teenagers who are still developing and trying to find who they truly are in the world.
The internet is simply a way for people to escape; people can play games, connect with others who are long distance away or can change themselves to be anyone they want to be. It has become a dangerous addiction in society and the affects it has on teenagers is atrocious. With teenagers brains still developing and living day to day instead of looking into the future, the way adults do, the internet can potentially ruin a teenagers life. There are many positives to the internet and social media like being able to stay in touch with people and being able to advertise your business and what not, however, the negatives really out weigh the positives when it comes to social media. Teenagers do not understand the social influence it has on them and the dangerous path it can put them down.