The effects of social media go deeper than just the surface level. Have you thought about the effects social media has on teenagers? More importantly, the negative effects? Social media is like a magnet to teenagers, we all get attracted towards it at some point. According to statistics from Mashable, the average teen sends and receives about three thousand three hundred thirty-nine texts per month. This lowers more face to face interaction, leading to having poor communication skills. Every day, teens are in a continuous loop of checking social media in class just because they’re bored. This leads to a lack of productivity. However, people may believe that social media has many benefits. Firstly because you have the opportunity to meet new people, enhance friendships, and catch up with people you haven’t met in a long time. Being able to connect to people from different parts of the world may seem like a great to spend time, but what happens when we are not able to enhance our face to face communication skills? It risks not being able to get the job we may desire. Nowadays, employers like to put stock into whatever information they do or do not find about the job candidates. We all have a digital identity, and it’s really complicated. A lot of employers, before hiring potential employees, will run a basic search of your name, and can find your social media accounts or other information about you just with a simple Google search. If you have a social media account, and even if it is on a private mode, information can still be withdrawn about you, and can eventually destroy your chances of getting a job if the employer finds an inappropriate  picture or information about you. We all post pictures or information on social media, as a way to portray our life out to friends and family, but the same information and pictures can be used against you. Some people may say that people have a right to their privacy, and can act however they want on social media, and it will not ruin their chances of getting a job because that is their personal life, but the fact is, there are employers who want to take all aspects of you into play and ensure that you are the correct candidate for the job, but if you have pictures of yourself drinking or doing any other sorts of things that may not seem appealing to the employer, they can decide that you’re unsuitable for the job.  A quote from an article on Time.com states that, “We can be found most anywhere in the world at any time, through our own devices”. Though it may seem that we are protected just by turning our account on private, people can find their way through our information and privacy settings. Our day to day desire to connect with friends physically is slowly starting to diminish because it’s simply easier to facetime or call them as opposed to physically being in their presence.  Social media accounts are now the preferred forms of communications for many people, whether they’re young adults and teens, or older men and women.  We have all become more likely to talk with friends and family through our phones, rather than face to face communication.  A study conducted for the online casino Yazino, says that one in four people spend more time online than they do in person and face-to face. Many people believe that social media helps us connect with friends and make new friends more easily because it’s not always possible to meet up with people on a daily basis, and you can’t meet every person you meet online, so it’s easier to stay in touch on social media, but the ongoing habit of communicating through screens is dangerous because you never know when your “friend” is carrying some malicious intentions. Strangers that you may think are friends can use sensitive information you give them at any given time. Your online friends can disappear with any trace over the course of a night, leaving you disappointed. Unfortunately, there are many people that pretend to be people they are not, and there are thousands of sketchy people and child predators or rapists who pose to be extremely nice, and make you believe that they are really there for a real friendship, but behind the screen, want to know your information and rob you of your identity and information.An ignored aspect of social media is cyberbullying. According to dosomething.org, only about one in ten victims of cyberbullying will inform their parents or a loved one about their abuse. Girls are about twice as likely to become victims of cyberbullying at any given time.  Cyberbullying varies from the most common cyberbullying which is fifty-eight percent of people at some point will encounter such as being called names, or not being treated up to a decent standard. Most of the people that are victims of cyberbullying on social media will often take their frustration on other things which can vary from bullying other kids, self-harm, and just letting the stress and anger build up inside. Another factor that we might not consider is our reduced amount of productivity. We spend an average amount of four hours and fifteen minutes on the phone a day. Those five hours could be spent working towards things that actually will get us somewhere such as school, towards our future jobs, or even towards our family. Social media cuts out tons of productive time that we could be using for better purposes.  Neal Samudre, writer of ‘8 Dangers of Social Media We’re Not Willing to Admit’ says “Time is valuable, which means we shouldn’t waste it with people, interactions and advertisements that offer no return for our attention. Social media forces us to waste time with these sort of things. It’s better to invest our valuable time in something that gives the world—and us—more value” . The average person, according to an article from theguardian.com, the average person sleeps eight hours a day, so if we calculate the 12 hours and fifteen minutes lost from social media and sleep, we only have about eleven hours and forty-five minutes worth of time to be used to work and do our more productive activities. Now, if the person is a student, the average student in California, according to statistics from the National Center of Education Statistics, spends 6.24 hours in school. If we eliminate those six hours from the eleven hours and forty-five minutes we have to be productive, we only have five hours and forty-five minutes left to do activities we want to do, such as hanging out with friends, going to the mall, etc. Your time reduces if you go to work too. Despite being able to connect with long-distance relatives and being able to keep up with all of our friends, social media isn’t as helpful as it seems. Being exposed to millions of random people online make it’s very dangerous as we are exposed to many cyberbullies and other predators of that sort. By cutting down the time we spend on social media, we can help regain our lives, social skills, and valuable time back.

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