By Dennis Duffy
With a rise in the use of social media, it is starting to become evident that teens must be smart in order to protect themselves from the potentially harmful abuses that come with it.
Whether it is called “Social Media Responsibility” or “Digital Citizenship,” teens should learn to protect themselves from the long term damage social media can inflict.
Rejection from college, loss of job opportunities and damage to one’s reputation are just a few of the harmful effects that social media can cause.
One of the terrible abuses of social media is sexting. Sexting has many negative effects on teens, both short term and long term.
According to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 28 percent of teens have sent a naked picture of themselves either through text or email.
This can greatly affect how both your parents and peers view you.
The only way to prevent the embarrassment and loss of respect that comes with sexting is to not sext in the first place.
While the use of social media increases, there is also a rise in cyber bullying. Research done by Pew Research Center on social networking states that 88 percent of teens have seen someone be mean or cruel to another peer on a social networking site. This statistic is sad and is a poor reflection of teenagers in America.
Teens should speak out against cyber bullying not only because it is a poor reflection on them, but more importantly because it causes depression and suicide.
There has been a large rise in the amount of “screen time” for teenagers. Screen time is the amount of time people spend looking at any type of electronic device (videogames, TV, computers, etc).
On average, people between the ages of eight and 18 spend seven and a half hours in front of a screen each day. The research also shows that people in this age group only read for around 40 minutes per day.
Not only is the amount of time spent reading low; test scores show that in recent years, grammar and writing skills have started to decline.
These statistics show that now more than ever students should work harder in school to prevent long lasting damage from social media.
Colleges are now starting to base admission on applicants’ social media accounts. College admissions now search through applicants’ Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, and if anything inappropriate is found then applicants can easily be denied.
Students should be smart and keep their social media pages appropriate.
Protecting yourself is key to social media responsibility. Preventing bullying, refraining from sexting and keeping your social media pages clean are a few ways to practice social media responsibility.