Is it really only the media?

‘Likes’ and ‘Comments’, ‘Friends’ or ‘Followers’ are perceived as a criteria on who thinks you are attractive or agrees with what you’re posting and your popularity in your micro and macro world.

Who knew that these components of social media could create such hype amongst society? Being a teenager myself and recently stepping into the world of ‘adulthood’, I thought there would be a difference between who did and didn’t care about the attention they received on social media. But I was wrong. I found that even mature adults care as much as a fifteen-year-old girl does about their profile picture.

Recently my thirteen-year-old sister pestered my parents to allow her to have Facebook. Since she has ‘connected’ to the online world it has made me notice the amounts of children who are now signing up to various forms of social media.

Over the past week I have been observing her behaviour both online and offline to see if there truly is a difference between children being active on social media. It’s been notable that her reliance of her phone has increased and the way she presents herself in public and online has created her to become more self-conscious.

Studies show that those who care about what others think of them show an increase of people with low self-esteem in comparison to those who have high self-esteem take the time to upload photos and continuously post. Due to this reliance of others opinions, there is an increase anxiety and create the desire to constantly update and refresh social media in order to keep ‘up to date’ in the social world.

An article from The Telegraph states that the “greatest proportion of Internet activity takes place when children reach 11 years of age”. At such a young age, children are learning to interact with both people they know and have never met online. A recent report on A Current Affair talks about a young girl befriending someone she had never met, later being killed by this unknown. By the media showing these heartbreaking stories are they suggesting to society to be paranoid of all friends they have on Facebook?

Child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson states, “Social media has removed the barriers between a young person’s public and private self”. In order to harness and lower the frequency of cyber-bullying between young children and the rate of depression and anxiety caused by social media, common forms of media such a television shows should promote a larger restriction of children on social media websites.

Violence and abuse is often linked to what adolescents are exposed to on common forms of media, such as the Bugler case. Studies showed that social media did not influence these actions majorly, whereas emotional damage is what was a large factor of the murder.

Overall we need to analyse whether it is solely the medias fault in not obtain higher restrictions or promoting an increased use of technology amongst young children or if it societies interpretation and use of such websites and films.

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