Benefits of Social Media for Teenagers
Normally, when the topic of social networks and teenagers is discussed, there’s a tendency to highlight the risks to which they’re exposed. Of course, it’s true that this population is particularly vulnerable to cyber dangers. However, it’s important to consider the benefits of social media for teenagers in their personal and social lives as well.
What does social media mean for teenagers?
Instagram, TikTok, Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat… These are some of the social networks most used by teenagers today to communicate with others. At the same time, they use them as a way to be present and active in the world.
Indeed, social media for teenagers are much more than a platform or means to connect with their friends. They can interact with people from all over the world and build friendships with similar interests. But they’re also a way of defining or reaffirming their identity.
As the Spanish Youth Institute (INJUVE) reports, social networks are playing a much more important role than is commonly believed in the development and shaping of the identity of adolescents.
In fact, the profiles created on social networks are an exercise in introspection. Young people observe, discuss, and share their thoughts and feelings with others. This helps them shape who they are and their place in the world.
What are the benefits of social media for teenagers?
There’s no doubt that one of the positive aspects that social networking provides for adolescents is indeed the social development of the individual.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicates that among the potential benefits of social networking is the ability to stay connected with friends or to meet new friends with shared interests.
Even so, in addition to favoring social ties, that is, facilitating the creation and consolidation of friends, we can find some benefits of social networks for adolescents in areas other than friendship.
- They broaden their worldview. Social networks push teenagers to get out of their bubble and put their feet on the ground, as they’re exposed not only to different ways of thinking but also to the countless different realities that exist in the world.
- They develop interpersonal skills. Adolescents learn to communicate and establish relationships outside their immediate social circle.
- They foster their creativity. Teenagers have at their disposal a wide range of websites, applications, and resources in different areas where they can develop their creativity and even receive feedback on their work.
- They favor their emotional and mental well-being. Being able to express themselves and share their feelings with like-minded people helps teenagers feel understood and find support.
- Digital literacy. The fact that teenagers explore and surf the Internet on a daily basis helps develop their digital skills, which means they’ll be better prepared to avoid online risks and dangers.
Responsible use of networks
All this being said, the role of parents in their children’s use of social networks is important, especially in educating them on responsible and healthy internet use. If adolescents don’t learn how to use social networks properly, it’s very likely that they won’t be able to benefit from their positive aspects.
Finally, it’s clear that social networks play a decisive role in the life of today’s teenagers. As we’ve observed, the benefits that social networks can offer adolescents vary greatly. However, the most important of these is the development of social and communication skills. This, in short, is key to the social and personal well-being of any adolescent.It might interest you...