Each generation provides a new set of challenges to the parents and the latest concern in this regard is their increased involvement in the digital media. A market research was conducted by Childwise in 2015 on kids aged between 5 and 16. It revealed that on average these children spent 6.5 hours a day in front of the screen with teenage boys spending as much as 8 hours.
The Potential Uses of Technology
It is evident that the lives of teenagers today revolve around technology and from connecting with friends to using it as a study tool, the internet has become the phenomenon of the century. There is no denying that the technology has made it simpler for the teenagers to gain knowledge and they can easily get access to tons of information with mere taps or clicks.
The digital world has increased the sense of belonging amongst teenagers by increasing their involvement in communities. Their self-esteem is enhanced and they have received the opportunity to form their unique identities through self-expression, talking, and learning.
The Social Media Buzz
Quite lately, Facebook has become the province of old people with teenagers losing the charm for it. They bounced towards new and intriguing social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. While Facebook managed to get a hold over Instagram, its attempt to buy Snapchat for $3 billion failed.
Teens who have social anxiety and struggle with carrying out social interactions can find solace in the form of social media. They can connect with each other through small groups and uplift each other’s morale in finding help and seeking refuge from isolation. The many Instagram followers and the Snapchat friends can actually become a teen’s road towards leading a normal and happy life.
The Downsides Involved
Since 1995, there is a 116% increase in the screen time consumption and this increment is giving rise to a number of social issues amongst the teenagers. The teenagers who spent more time on social media are likely to be involved in sleeping and eating disorders and even report symptoms of depression.
Due to increased digital life, the teens have become susceptible to cyberbullying, too many fake friends, and abusive relationships. The definition of success has been redefined and its value has been increased dramatically, thus, putting more pressure on the young brains to excel in each and everything.
The Bottom Line
Isn’t it alarming to know that teenagers today are spending less time outside than even the prisoners?Human connection is building but only through the screens. In reality, the face-to-face connections in real life are demeaning in value and losing their charm.
While there is no denying that the technology, internet, and social media do offer a lot in terms of learning and forming communities. However, there is a dire need to control the screen time because its excess exposure is leading the next generation to a turmoil.