English Paper on Effects of Social Media on Teens

English Paper on Effects of Social Media on Teens


The social media has grown to form part of the contemporary society. This research study undertook an investigation amongst college students and youngsters between the age of 13 and 25, on the effects, the social media has on their lifestyle. The descriptive investigation took samples from both males and females through questionnaires and online chatting on how the social media has impacted on their lifestyle. About 40 percent were undergraduates, and 60 percent graduate students drawn from different colleges. Approximately 30 percent have jobs, 32 percent part-time engagements on different jobs, and 38 percent don not have jobs. From the results of the study, 40 percent admit that they spend about 6 to 7 hours on social media sites, 20 percent spend slightly more than 7 hours, 25 percent spend between 2-5 hours and a paltry 15 percent, spend less than an hour on social sites. From the results, it is evident that spending too much time on social sites has a negative effect on teenagers.


Social media refers to the relationship created between a network of people irrespective of geographical boundaries. The online world saw a drastic change over the last couple of years with the high rate of penetration of the media into homes, learning institutions, and day to day lifestyle of most people. The advent of the social media has seen many people share ideas, information, pictures, memories, feelings, and content video at a very high rate. Over 80 percent of students use social media sites for different reasons. However, addiction and misuse of the social media have encouraged negative habits and behaviors such as drug addiction, pornography, and procrastination. Students and teenagers who register  and spend a long time on social sites have the tendency to easily get into drugs and unholy habits. Despite the rising number of teenagers on social sites, a lot more teenagers spend a countless number of hours on social sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Tagged, and Sim City among many other social sites (Boyd 57). Although from a casual perspective, it may seem like a waste of time as teenagers wheel away many countless hours chatting, sharing videos, and information on the sites (Boyd 56).

Additionally, although it may seem that they are sharing vital information and developing social skills, the underlying negative consequences far outweigh any benefit that may result from the activity. Currently, whether the sites are productive or not, many teenagers spend lots of time on the websites on a daily basis. According to Boyd (18), tremendous growth in technology is evident that student success is guaranteed through and by use of social networking and new technologies such as iPad, iPhones, and tablets. However, behind the progress in technology, many parents agonize on the negative side effects of the social media and the time spent. According to many parents and college instructors, students use a lot of time on social sites than on studying and going through their career prospects. The research, therefore, attempts to find out the unique relationship between teenagers life efficiency and the social media.

Statement of the Challenge

In order to explore widely and deeply the efficiency and effectiveness of social interactions over the internet, the mandatory subject matter is: what is the main purpose behind teenagers utilizing the social media and networking in general? Investigations into this inquiry will focus on how teenagers interact with their peers with less concern about the effect the culture of social interactions is having on their general behaviors and lifestyle.Therefore, the purpose of this research is to get deeper into the good and bad sides of social interactions over the internet or commonly known as social networking. The research will expand previous investigations and works on the relationship between social interactions and teenagers behavior in addition to determining how the negative impacts are affecting teenagers academic performance.

Research Question:

Considering the most popular social site and the amount of time utilized on the sites, are students getting the best out of social media?

Literature Review

According to Jelenchick et al, (131), teenagers have a lot of interest in computer technology and mostly on social media such as Facebook, Myspace, and Tagged. Social media in this context will consist of Facebook, Blogs, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. However, delving deeper into the use of social media amongst people of all age groups will reveal both negative and positive effects, studies reveal that 30 percent of teenagers time and effort is used up on social networking specifically by students both in high school and college. Facebook remains the most accessed and used social site by teenagers, followed closely by Twitter and YouTube (Jelenchick et al, 129). Previous research indicates that Facebook has over 1 billion users with over half of the number logged in daily. Teenagers alone form a large chunk of the number and spend approximately 200 minutes daily logged onto the site. In previous studies, over 95 percent of teenagers had Facebook accounts with the number increasing to 99 percent in late 2010. Currently, nearly all (at 100 percent) of teenagers have Facebook accounts of which over 80 percent of the accounts active daily. Putting into consideration that Facebook as a social media site began operation in 2006 (Best et al, 29).

Positive aspects of social interactions promote academic activities online, in addition, to supporting through and by online academic communities (Jelenchick et al 134). Considering the many services and opportunities on the internet, teenagers have the time and opportunity to improve and enhance their social connections and can bring forth many benefits to teenagers, both on the social scale, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically (Best et al, 28). Best et al, (30), argues that the virtual world existing on the sites has the ability to enable to youths to explore their interest, challenges, hobbies, education prospects, and fears. Additionally, online interaction has the positive effect of improving teenagers’ knowledge in various fields and sharpening their communication abilities (Yoo et al, 175). For example, teenagers who may be unable to speak out their youthful problems such as teenage pregnancy, drug addiction, and peer influence have the opportunity on the social sites to actively participate in discussion blogs thus helping them. Additionally, web tools such as academic writing sites, practical online assessment sites, and blogs have the potential to unearth a great deal of potential in the youth. Instead of spending time on unworthy activities such as negative peer groups, drugs, alcohol, and bullying teenagers have the time on social media sites to put their best abilities and skills to practice and learn (Jelenchick et al, 130). For example, a teenager who has problems in learning a specific mathematical concept in class may find it worthy to engage in an online social site focusing on mathematics to sharpen his or her skill. The tools and applications are available online and by only clicking a button, vast amounts of information and knowledge can be made available to the teenager (Valenzuela et al, 230).

Although many studies and research point only the negative aspects of social media on teenagers, a great deal of positive do come out between the relationship of teenagers and the social media. A report by CNN, indicate that social media produce more good than bad in teenagers. According to the report, the use of social media by teenagers produces results into increased confidence and positive self-esteem. The research postulates that 2 out of every teenager says that using social interactions on Facebook and Tagged make them self-confident and improves on their self-esteem. In a survey of the report, a group of 2000 12 to 18-year-olds, 30 percent acknowledge that social networking makes them feel good and more social against 10 percent who admit that social networking makes them feel bad. 35 percent acknowledge that it makes them feel less introverted, while 6 percent say that it makes them feel more withdrawn (Strasburger 121). On relationships, 55 percent of the teenagers admit that it makes them establish better relationships against 8 percent who admit that it negatively affects their relationships. Generally, the majority of teenagers admits that social interactions and networking make them have more positive attributes in terms of their cognitive, emotional, and social abilities. The majority trust that social media enables them to be more outgoing, confident, and expressive.

According to social analysts and psychologists, teenagers who feel socially isolated have the tendency to get the addition to social media to fill the social gap missing in their lives (Buckingham 27). These teenagers easily find connection and establishing relationships with the social media much easier than in real life situation.  Finding super excited teenagers on social media has the positive effect of influencing their introvert nature by exposing and revealing their good qualities. The net effect is a new individuality will emerge from the interaction and online interaction, hence impacting on the teenager positively. Teenagers can also find social media encouraging and uplifting considering the many social challenges they may face at home or even in school. Other positive aspects of social networking amongst teenagers include making their voices heard, exploring new options in life, and passing out their time instead of engaging in promiscuous behaviors (Cash 170).

However, on the flip side, findings and counter arguments show that use of electronic media amongst the teenagers is producing negative effects to the youngsters and to the society. According to the survey by CNN above, two-thirds of teenagers use social media even while in church, classroom, on the dining table, while in bed before sleep and many other places that hinder their cognitive and mental growth (Cash 170). According to analysts, social media has become the addiction of the century with many agreeing that the many numbers of hours spent on the sites negatively hinder many aspects of personality in teenagers (Cash 171). For example, multitasking that comes along with being online increases distraction, and harm to the body as a result of poor body posture while using the electronic gadgets. As the social sites continue gaining prominence amongst teenagers, they pose a threat to the development of special aspects of personality in areas such as emotional intelligence. Teenagers also tend to develop procrastination on issues that require urgent attention, such as completing household chores, classwork, and engaging  in positive recreational habits such as playing soccer (Buckingham 28).

For instance, the survey above carried out by CNN indicate that 65 percent of teenagers acknowledge that addition to social media makes them lazy in undertaking daily chores such as cleaning. Despite the positive outcomes of social media on teenagers, research from Ohio University, indicates that teenagers who rely on and are addicted to Facebook and other social sites perform poorly in school as compared to teenagers who do not partake in the addiction. The relationship between teenagers and the social media indicate that the negative effects far outweigh the positive effects. Observation and views of the majority of parents show that addiction to social media has a direct effect on school grades with many addicts having a low motivation to learn and perform well. Teenagers who show little concern for social media technology are revealed to show good amplitude performance, good social interactions, and high performance on school grades (Saxton et al, 45). Several studies also indicate that there is less difference in the effect of social media, between teenagers who can fall in the category of heavy users and those considered as light users. Additionally, little correlation existed between teenagers’ school grades and the sort of platform used in the social media.

On the relationship linking teenagers and social media, moral conduct, its evident teenagers who spend much of their time online tend to have social misfit habits such as feeling unworthy without having an ongoing event on the social media (Bolton et al, 251). For instance, heavy users tend to have a disconnection with the real world while lacking the instruments for connecting to the social world. For instance, it is evident that if a teenager loses his or her smartphone and remains without any means of connecting to a social media, frustration set in them, loneliness, and rejection. These are the side effect of feeling disconnected with their “real world” of social interaction. Teenagers disconnected from the social media tend to feel unable to cope with real life situations such as handling conflicts and ordinary interactions. It is, therefore, evident that negative aspects and effects of social media far outweigh any benefit it may accrue at the end. Bolton et al (252), assert that if used positively, it can bring forth great benefits, however, through extensive research and exploration, positive effects of the social media are often short lived. For instance, if a teenager is withdrawn from the social networking, the confidence build over the years on social media soon subside and in creeps self-doubt and low self-esteem.


The key rationale of collecting information to undertake a group examination on the effect of social media on teenagers. An unspecified questionnaire was used to collect information from teenagers. The research used a total of 100 questionnaires. All the questionnaires were utilized. According to responses got from the study, females constituted (n=44), and males (n=56) took part in the research. About 40 percent were undergraduates, and 60 percent graduate students drawn from different colleges. Approximately 30 percent have jobs, 32 percent part-time engagements on different jobs, and 38 percent don not have jobs. Several other questions were formulated to assist in the research.

Several out of the context focused on the lives and times of an ordinary teenager while using and while not using the social media. Questions such as;

How many times do you log in to your Facebook or Twitter Account?

Do you actively follow specific discussions online on among your friends?

How long can you be away from your social account without feeling disconnected from your online network of friends?

Can you go a day without logging into your account?

The teenagers who took part in the research were selected without considering gender or educational level, or social status.


Sixty% percent the teenagers who participated favored Facebook, Twitter stood at 18%, while Skype at 10%. The remaining 12 percent were nonresponsive to their preference. The majority of the participants at 70% used smartphones and 30 percent used desktop computers. 45 percent admitted to spending over 6-9 hours daily on the social sites, 24% used up to over 9 hours, 26% spent between 2 – 4 hrs, and a paltry 13% spent under 2 hrs. The number of teenagers who used social media while in school and in the church was 64 percent, and a further 20 percent agreed they logged in on their social sites while in school. Amongst all the participants, 60 percent agreed that social media influenced them negatively, while the remaining 40 percent said they were affected negatively. Over half, the participants agreed that social media is meant for fun and social interactions while approximately 35 percent said that social media is an official site for social engagement.


In accordance with the above research, it is evident that even teenagers have the varied opinion on the relationship between social media and their lifestyle. It also no doubt that social media forms a big part of teenagers lifestyle and the majority make an active life from the activity. Facebook and Twitter are very popular amongst teenagers, although the emergence of new smartphone application if introducing new concepts on the use of Facebook and other social sites. Social media can thus be taken as having taken a central aspect of a teenager’s life and it is an important tool they use to fulfill their inner needs such as psychological needs of fulfillment.  Social media and the lifestyle that is generated from the online interaction is addictive and teenagers stand the highest chance of getting addicted into the practice. There is a very strong correlation between developing worthy cognitive behaviors such as good work ethics and addiction to the social media. It is, therefore, worth noting that irrespective of how teenagers view and perceive of social networking, a teenager’s life is directly influenced by social networking and addictive behaviors attributed to the social platform.




Works Cited

Best, Paul, Roger Manktelow, and Brian Taylor. “Online communication, social media and adolescent well-being: A systematic narrative review.” Children and Youth Services Review 41 (2014): 27-36.

Bolton, Ruth N., et al. “Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda.” Journal of Service Management 24.3 (2013): 245-267.

Boyd, Danah. It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press, 2014.

Buckingham, David, ed. Youth, identity, and digital media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008.

Cash, Scottye J., et al. “Adolescent suicide statements on MySpace.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 16.3 (2013): 166-174.

Jelenchick, Lauren A., Jens C. Eickhoff, and Megan A. Moreno. “”Facebook depression?” Social networking site uses and depression in older adolescents.” Journal of Adolescent Health 52.1 (2013): 128-130.

Saxton, Gregory D., and Lili Wang. “The social network effect: The determinants of giving through social media.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (2013): 0899764013485159.

Strasburger, Victor C., et al. “Children, adolescents, and the media.” Pediatrics 132.5 (2013): 958-961.

Valenzuela, Sebastián, Arturo Arriagada, and Andrés Scherman. “The social media basis of youth protest behavior: The case of Chile.” Journal of Communication 62.2 (2012): 299-314.

Yoo, Woohyun, JungHwan Yang, and Eunji Cho. “How social media influence college students’ smoking attitudes and intentions.” Computers in Human Behavior 64 (2016): 173-182.