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How Does the Constant Use of Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) Alter Young Peoples (13-25) True Identity?

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Social media has allowed people to communicate with a large group of people in real time. The integration of social media in mobile devices has also spread its reach, which has allowed for ease of communication between individuals. In an emergency situation, people will use social media to share information with others and relevant authorities. This would allow emergency worker to better understand the emergency situation, which would allow them to make the necessary preparations.

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Social media has revolutionised the way we connect with each other. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now used by one in four people worldwide. The use of social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives, connecting them with friends, family and strangers from across the globe. Many young people have never known a world without instant access to the internet and social networking platforms. The internet and social media has transformed the way in which this generation - commonly known as ‘digital natives’ - interact and communicate with each other. While this presents great opportunities for innovation, learning and creativity, emerging evidence is raising concerns about the potential implications for our young people’s mental health. Social media addiction is thought to affect around 5% of young people, with social media being described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. Such is the concern surrounding social media and young people that in late 2016 MPs debated the issue in Parliament. The platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fuelling a mental health crisis. Daily, or almost daily use of the internet has risen rapidly in the last decade. In 2006, just 35% of people in the UK used the internet on a daily basis. This figure has now climbed to 82% of people in 2016. Overall use of social media has also risen broadly in line with internet use. In 2007, only 22% of people in the UK had at least one social media profile; by 2016, this figure had risen to 89%. Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform with around 30 million UK users. Twitter comes in as the second most used with 15 million UK users. The next most popular platforms are Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat. Social media use is far more prevalent among young people than older generations. The 16-24 age group are by far the most active social media users with 91% using the internet for social media. Compare this with 51% of 55-64 year olds and only 23% of the 65 plus age range and it is clear there is currently a generational disparity when looking at social media usage.

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During the past 10 years, the rapid development of social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and so on has caused several profound changes in the way people communicate and interact. Facebook, as the biggest social networking Web site, today has more than one billion active users, and it is estimated that in the future, this number will significantly increase, especially in developing countries. Facebook is used for both business and personal communication, and its application has brought numerous advantages in terms of increasing connectivity, sharing ideas, and online learning. Recently, however, some researchers have associated online social networking with several psychiatric disorders, including depressive symptoms, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Since social networks are a relatively new phenomenon, many questions regarding their potential impact on mental health remain unanswered. On the other hand, due to the popularity of these online services in the general population, any future confirmed connection between them and psychiatric diseases would pose a serious public health concern. During the past decade, online social networking has caused profound changes in the way people communicate and interact (Orth U, Robins RW, 2008). It is unclear, however, whether some of these changes may affect certain normal aspects of human behavior and cause psychiatric disorders. Several studies have indicated that the prolonged use of social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook, may be related to signs and symptoms of depression. In addition, some authors have indicated that certain SNS activities might be associated with low self-esteem, especially in children and adolescents. Other studies have presented opposite results in terms of positive impact of social networking on self-esteem. The relationship between SNS use and mental problems to this day remains controversial, and research on this issue is faced with numerous challenges.It is clear that many of these diagnostic criteria could be applied to a minor percentage of chronic Facebook users who, as a result of this prolonged computer use, have problems in normal everyday functioning (Nima AA, Rosenberg P, Archer T, 2013). However, one must be very careful with this approach, since in the future it could be quite difficult to distinguish SNS addiction from Internet addiction, which is a much more general disorder (Internet addiction disorder, problematic Internet use, or compulsive Internet use).

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All things considered, social networking sites seem to emerge a new kind of self in the online world”. This is evident as demonstrated by the various twitter accounts I have provided above and that individuals can create the persona the way he or she likes. I hope that by understanding what I have explained that we can start to realize the influence social media and pop culture has in society. As Twitter continues to grow and expand, it will keep give researchers better ways of understanding who they are as individuals.

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Obeid N, Buchholz A, Boerner KE, et al. . Self-esteem and social anxiety in an adolescent female eating disorder population: age and diagnostic effects. Eating Disorders 2013

Gallagher ME, Tasca GA, Ritchie K, et al. . Interpersonal learning is associated with improved self-esteem in group psychotherapy for women with binge eating disorder. Psychotherapy (Chicago, Ill.) 2014

Orth U, Robins RW, Roberts BW. Low self-esteem prospectively predicts depression in adolescence and young adulthood. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 2008

Nima AA, Rosenberg P, Archer T, et al. . Anxiety, affect, self-esteem, and stress: mediation and moderation effects on depression. PloS One 2013

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How Does the Constant Use of Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) Alter Young Peoples (13-25) True Identity?
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