Social Media and Teenagers

Social media and networking has become very important to people. Teenagers are finding it very important. Like all things social networking on-line has positive and negatives.

Positive effects

Always connected to friends.

Distance is not an issue.

Can hang out indoors.

A broad take of information.

Negative effects

Hanging out indoors.

Sexualised content

People being deceitful on-line

Oversharing- not understanding

Could affect future work prospects


In the the article ‘The privacy paradox: The privacy benefits of privacy threats’

Benjamin Wittes and Jodie C. Liu write;

“Digital technology enables the preservation of the minutia of our everyday comings and goings, of our likes and dislikes, of who we are and what we own. . . . The information gathered about us has become quite extensive, and it is being used in ways that profoundly affect our lives. Yet . . . we lack the power to do much about it.” This “powerlessness” over our own privacy can be traced chiefly to a consequence of digital technology: “the collection of data” and “our complete lack of control over the ways [such data] is used or may be used in the future.”

This is important for us all, but especially young people growing up in this techno era.

I watched a documentary called “In Real Life” ( )

It highlights teenagers thoughts on social media. It says that 40% are spending more time on-line than with friends. This is a not positive documentary on young people. It asks have we outsourced our children to the internet? It could be seen as an attempt at moral panic.

We share huge amounts of information about ourselves on Facebook, You-tube and Twitter etc. I know sometimes when I share stuff I can feel quite exposed. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Facebook for sure. So, we have to realize, sites are gathering our information and monetising social media, with advertising aimed directly for us, while collecting our data.

However, I enjoy social media a lot. Just as many teenagers do. A lot of the time when I share on social media I am aiming for an exchange of knowledge and twitter can be like a window on the world. I am not asking myself about the information that is being gathered on me.

When it comes to privacy on-line, we are all learning. As we do, we must educate our teenagers who are more vulnerable and need guidance.

This is a good book on teenagers and their connected lives. It’s Complicated

‘The social lives of networked Teens’
by Danah Boyd

I would say it is complicated. There is still a lot to learn.

Full pdf;

Here is also a good video by Sherry Turkle.

Turkle, studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have. It is a really good comment on how we present what we want , re-touch or delete. Here is a link for Sherry Turkle’s book called The Second Self at . For younger people who are just learning about themselves, maybe this can be overwhelming too? I feel I was lucky that I never had to worry about these things when I was growing up.


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