13 Effects of Social Media on Adolescent Behavior

Today, social media is one of a variety of communication media, especially modern communication media that are widely used by the community to build and maintain relationships with relatives, friends, colleagues, and so on. In addition, social media is also widely used in other fields such as education, politics, business, marketing, and others. Social media was chosen as a means of communication today because social media is seen to have several advantages over other media such as being able to reach a very wide audience, easily accessed anytime and anywhere through the internet, cheap, interactive, and fast.

What is social media?

Since its inception, experts have tried to define social media. Here are some of them.

  • Mark Hopkins (2008) defines social media as a term that not only covers a variety of new media platforms but also implies the inclusion of systems such as FriendFeed, Facebook, and others which are generally considered to be social networks. The idea is that these various media platforms have a social component and play a role as public communication media.
  • Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2010) who stated that social media is a collection of internet-based applications that are built on the ideological basis of WEB 2.0 which is a platform of social media evolution that enables the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.
  • K Lewis (2010) defines social media as a label for digital technology that allows people to connect, interact, produce, and share message content.
  • Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller (2016) define social media from a marketing communicationperspective . They stated that social media is the media used by consumers to share text, images, sound and video information with others from the company and vice versa.
  • McGraw Hill Dictionary defines social media as a means used by people to interact with each other by creating, sharing, and exchanging information and ideas in a network and virtual computing.

From various notions of social media according to experts it can be concluded that what is meant by social media is a platform like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that is used with the primary purpose of building and maintaining relationships with others. The ease of accessing social media, low-cost, interactive, and fast are some of the reasons why social media has recently become the most popular communication media. The number of users continues to increase every year from among children, adolescents, and adults.

In Indonesia alone the number of social media users coming from adolescents continues to increase. Teenagers use social media generally to show their existence, to get closer to followers and friends, to find the latest information, to find new friends, to channel their interests and talents, and to be entertained. Besides aimed at positive things, social media is also often abused by teenagers. For example, to harass friends, mobilize for brawl, and so forth. Thus, social media has an influence or effect on adolescent behavior, both positive and negative. (Also read: Social Media Effects )

The influence of social media on adolescent behavior include the following.

  1. Looking for entertainment

Teenagers generally use social media to look for entertainment such as watching videos, movies, playing online games, and so on. The types of social media that provide this kind of entertainment such as Facebook, Youtube, Discord, LINE, and so forth.

  1. Looking for information

Social media is also often used by teenagers to look for information, especially those closely related to learning in school. For example, looking for information related to making research reports or practicum reports. The information sought is related to the theory and format of the preparation of the report. In addition to information relating to school work, teenagers also look for the latest information such as news and other types of information that are often not appropriate for their age. (Also read: Influence of Social Media in Education )

  1. Make new friends

Teenagers also often use social media to find new friends or new communities that match their interests and hobbies. For example the motorcycle community, language, cooking, photography, and so on. But not infrequently the new friend sought by these teenagers is someone who falsified his true identity. This results in a large number of criminal cases that begin with the introduction of someone on social media. Finally, it is not new friends that are obtained but problems related to the law.

  1. Share information

The influence of social media on the behavior of other teenagers is that they are active in sharing information. For example, sharing photos or videos via Facebook or Youtube. Even lately more and more teenagers are interested in becoming a YouTuber because they see some characters who managed to become YouTuber.

  1. Self existence

Social media is also often used by teenagers to show their existence by uploading photos or videos, posting statuses, making comments or likes, and so on. Sometimes, if what is posted and uploaded to social media does not get a response from other users or the lack of likes, they will feel stressed themselves. Of course this is not good for their psychological condition. (Also read: Effects of Social Media on Mental Health )

  1. Communicate

The role of social media in digital communication is as a means of communication of its users. The main purpose of teenagers using social media is to communicate with family, friends, or new friends. Through social media, they will stay connected with the people closest to and maintain the friendship.

  1. Shopping online

Online shopping is the most common behavior by social media users including teenagers. With the proliferation of online shopping sites, they will easily choose and buy the desired product without having to go to the store. The products that are usually bought by teenagers are clothes, cell phones, books, and so forth.

  1. Selling online

Teenagers who have business talents and have products that can be sold will usually use social media as a promotional media for their products. As for the products they can sell in the form of writing, food, accessories, or the results of cubits of other works. (Also read: Strengths of Social Media to Increase Brand Awareness )

  1. Triggering cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying or harassment online is now rife among teenagers. This online harassment occurs as a result of adolescents abusing social media for the purpose of harassing their own friends, for example by sending messages that are threatening and so forth. This kind of harassment can interfere with the psychological condition of the victim and sometimes even suicides because they can’t stand the abuse done by their friends through social media.

Other cases related to harassment are harassment that is done in real life then recorded using video and uploaded to social media. In addition this can also affect the psychological condition of the victim, this also has a negative impact on those who abuse because they clearly commit acts that violate the law.

  1. Danger of crime

The virtual world is actually more cruel than the real world because someone we just met through social media may have evil intentions or indeed a criminal. Many cases occur when a young woman goes to meet a new friend whom she knows through social media and ends in a case of rape or even murder. For that, as social media users, teenagers also have to be careful when they want to add or make new friends through social media. (Also read: Examples of Ethical Violation Cases in Social Media )

  1. Addicted

Addiction is one of the negative impacts of social media that must also be considered. This addiction to social media is closely related to the amount of personal information conveyed to the public through social media or other information that comes from outside him. This overflow of information encourages teens to continue to search for or update and share information obtained with their friends or to the public.

  1. Interfering with family life

The presence of social media can actually disrupt life with family. Even though family members can still communicate online, the most appropriate communication is communication that is done face to face or interpersonal communication or interpersonal communication. Because through face-to-face communication, emotional closeness between family members is maintained well.

However, if each family member is busy with his virtual friends on social media especially when at home it will feel the distance between family members. Because it is better when you have been at home it’s good that each family member keeps his cell phone so as not to interfere with life with other family members.

  1. Health

Using excessive social media can damage your health. Teenagers who use social media without time restrictions such as playing online games can invite health problems that are not trivial. Some health problems if over-using other social media is causing eye disorders (blindness), back pain, or even death.

Of course we still remember a gamer who kept playing online games without a break until he finally died on the spot. This is because he sat for hours in the same position. Of course this is very unfortunate just because they want to find entertainment or earn money from playing online games but instead lives lost. (Also read: Ethics in Communicating on the Internet )

Benefits of Studying the Effect of Social Media on Adolescent Behavior

Studying the effect of social media on adolescent behavior can provide several benefits, including:

  • We can know and understand some of the notions of social media.
  • We can know and understand the various influences of social media on adolescent behavior both positive and negative.

Thus a brief review of the influence of social media on adolescent behavior. Hopefully it can broaden our horizons and knowledge about social media and its influence on adolescent behavior.


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