We often hear parents of youngsters complain that the Internet and social media have resulted in depravity, distraction, low self-esteem, anxiety, addiction and depression among the youth. But is this over-reaction? So, where does the truth lie?
- A study by University of Salford showed that only 50% of their 298 participants found social media detrimental to their sense of self worth.
- Research at the University of Georgia showed that social media sites may actually be boosting self-esteem by the feeling of connectedness to others and the possibility of controlling how one can be seen by others.
- Ideal to Real TODAY/AOL Body Image survey showed that 65% of teenage girls posting selfies on social media claimed that it boosts their confidence.
- Today, teens use social media tools exactly as their parents and grandparents used drive-ins, parks, school yards and malls to congregate.
The youth must understand (as with youth of every generation) that their parents have “been there and done that”, albeit in different avatars, and using different tools, and can help them build roots to better use social media in life. Adults must learn (as with adults of every generation) to let go and allow the adolescent to sprout wings. Such mutual respect and understanding can help heal the rifts that exist among many parents and children with respect to social media and allow a healthier perspective to all concerned.
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