#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | Is your teen using social media? Here’s what you need to know

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 25, 2020 6:39:23 pm

While there are many advantages of social media, there are many pitfalls, too. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
Social media has permeated our lives, and especially those of teenagers who, around the world, spend most of their waking hours on these apps, documenting their lives as they go. And while the perils of social media are always discussed, the positives are seldom highlighted. If you have a teenager at home, it is but natural that you talk to them about it. But before you do that, here is an interesting TED talk that you can watch.

Sophie Page, a teenager herself, says in her talk that social media has been used for both good and bad. “Contrary to popular belief, it positively affects the way that teenagers view themselves. According to a study done by Common Sense Media, one in five teenagers say they have felt more confident since going onto social media. But social media has also been used for bad. Eighty-three per cent of teenagers say that they have seen someone be cruel or mean online, 49.5 per cent are victims of cyber-bullying, and 33.7 per cent have said that they have committed a cyber-bullying behaviour online,” she says.

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Page goes on to say that there are many advantages of social media which include keeping in touch with people, and making long-distance relationships work. Also colleges, when they look for potential students, check their social media accounts to learn a little bit more about them, she informs. She further says that while people may not realise it, social media helps start movements and dialogues. It brings people today when there is a calamity, or a shared sorrow.

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“Social media, without us even knowing, has also caused us to become self-absorbed and obsessed with getting ‘likes’ on our posts and ‘shares’ on our videos. We now turn to other people for our self-worth. It is rarely ever ‘look what’s happening out there’, or ‘look what’s happening to these people’. Or, ‘we need to do something about this’,” she remarks.

If we do not use social media the right way, and become global citizens, suicide rates and cyber-bullying may go up, Page warns. “I ask you, how do you use social media? Just think back the last couple of times that you used social media. Think about what was the purpose behind you using that social media profile. How did you use it? The next couple of times that you log on to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, just be aware of what little things that you do, can cause a huge impact on your future, and how it affects other people around you,” Page says in conclusion.

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