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The Effect of Social Media on this Generation’s Adolescents

Social media is a hotly debated subject all over the modern world. While technology is evolving quickly, many adults are finding the whole concept hard to grasp. While in most cases this generation of adolescents have a better understanding of it. One of the main reasons that social media is so widely discussed is because it is becoming the way that this generation socializes. The new generation will just snapchat their friends, and that’s how they socialize. Many studies have been conducted that show teens nowadays are dating, drinking and taking part in sexual actives less. For example, a new study published in the journal Child Development shows that adolescents in the age range of 13–19 are not having as much sex, and partying less. The theory is that instead of going out, kids are interacting online instead, so they are experiencing less of the typical teenage life. 

Adults seem to be also blaming social media on depression and anxiety. A study published online in Computers in Human Behavior on December 10, 2016 found a link between social media and the rise is some mental illnesses. Some think that it is because on social media you can easily see when people are hanging out without you, which can cause FOMO (fear of missing out), or just the feeling of exclusion. The difference between the older generations and the newer generations is their ability to accept that technology is a part of our present and our future. While the older generations were introduced to new aspects of technology and social media later in life, the new generation has grown up with it. This difference in the familiarity of technology can cause a barrier in the understanding of it. 

As an adolescent I can agree that social media is changing the way people socialize, but I will argue against the popular belief that it is the cause of the rise in some mental illnesses. Some believe that seeing your friends and classmates hanging out with others can cause feelings of depression, as Medical Daily said in an article called “Feeling Depressed? Too Much Time On Social Media Can Affect Your Mental Health”, this doesn't mean that adolescents are getting depressed. The feeling of depression and clinical depression is very different. Being depressed is just a feeling, but having depression is a condition that is passed on genetically and is due to chemical imbalances in your brain. I believe that this is where the dislike from social media comes from, some people are confusing the difference between being depressed and having depression. While feeling left out due to seeing your peers having fun without you can make you feel depressed, it won’t give you depression. Blaming clinical depression on social media may seem easy, but it is incorrect. 

The truth is technology will keep on developing and getting bigger, and whether that hurts or helps this generation is unknown. Our modern world is built off technology, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing after all. We now have newer ways to connect and interact with people. We also have ways to get things done in a more efficient manner. While technology may have some “side affects”, for the most part it is helping more than it is harming. If you happen to notice that you spend too much time on your phone, or that you are constantly feeling left out of activities, then maybe you should just take a break, instead of getting rid of technology all together.

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