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Allen, S. (2019, September 20). Social media’s growing impact on our lives. American Psychological Association.

The advancement of information and communication technology has led to expansion in the way people interact with each other. Social media is a product of technological advances that people use to interact virtually.  The popularity of social media has increased substantially from 5% of the adult population in the U.S. using social media in 2005 to 70% currently. Presently, people interact using various social media such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The effect of time spent on social media on people’s lives has attracted different subjects in society, including clinicians, teachers, policymakers, and parents. While there could be many impacts of a long time spent on social media on people’s lives, one of the most worrying is social displacement. There is a great concern that the time spent on social media is gradually substituting face-to-face communication. However, some argue that social media has not made any substantial difference in the way people socialize. People prefer using different means such as emails, face-to-face, texts, and phone calls to interact with their close loved ones. Here is in research about social media impact some new and fresh information.

Besides the concerns about the impact of social media on adults, there have also been questions about whether it affects teenagers’ lives. Some studies have shown a positive association between the use of social media among teenagers and their in-person social interaction.  Other studies have revealed that adolescents who spend more time on social media than in face-to-face interaction are more likely to feel lonely. While past researchers seem to agree that adolescents are replacing face-to0face interaction with social media, some scholars argue that the root cause is restricting adolescents from physical interaction. Consequently, many adolescents resort to using social media to interact with each other. The rising percentage of adolescents using social media has attracted scholars who hypothesize that it could impact their cognitive development and psychological health. However, social media is not associated with negative impacts. Studies and original written essays have shown that there are both negative and positive impacts of social media.

The benefits of increasing social networks among adolescents include a good opportunity to interact with friends and relatives who may be located in distant places. Social media also fosters creativity among adolescents as it can help them to improve their self-expression.  Despite the benefits of social media, there are also concerns that it can cause harm. For example, there are claims that social media has been used for cyberbullying and accessing inappropriate content such as violent media and adult videos. Additionally, adolescents who use social media are more likely to experience discriminatory content such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and religious hate. Preliminary studies have shown that social media have an impact on teens’ cognitive development. Teenagers use social media in aspects associated with development, such as identity, sexuality, and intimacy.

Despite the known benefits and risks of social media among teens, more research needs to be done. For example, social media has been found to help teens discover their identities. However, there are concerns that the identities they are discovering may be based on false self or ideal self. This implies that the ultimate identity may not be as good as one founded on real-life experience. There are also questions regarding whether the increased social networks have an impact on one’s intimacy. Social media interactions are superficial and temporary as compared with face-to-face. As the youth continue to be more tech-savvy in the future, the pros and cons of social media may fade as digital interactions become normalized. This is because technology may be changing the brains of the teens who grew up with it. The effects on the brain are not yet known, and their experiences may be different from that of the adults currently.

Uhls, Y. T., Ellison, N. B., & Subrahmanyam, K. (2017). Benefits and costs of social media in adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S67-S70. DOI:

The amount of time spent on social media among American adolescents has been increasing.  Similarly, studies on adolescents and social media have been growing as more social media platforms emerge. Studies have revealed that some of the most common uses for social media among American adolescents are interacting with peers, sharing information, and developing a coherent identity. Social media has benefits and risks to adolescents.

The benefits of social media among adolescents include using it for critical adolescent development tasks. Some of these tasks include interactions with their peers, aspirational development, and their identity development. They also sought intimacy using social media. Additionally, social media complement life offline. Studies have also revealed that social media is good for adolescents. It helps them enhance their self-esteem, increase their social capital, seek social support, safe identity exploration, and explore opportunities for self-disclosure. Moreover, adolescents use social media to create more friends and express their feelings. Social media is a useful tool for adolescents who wish to engage in self-presentation and self-exploration. Youths experiencing problems with their social identity and those with learning difficulties are more likely to benefit from social media.

While social media has been lauded for its positive impacts on adolescents, it has been associated with certain risks. For example, there are concerns that social media impacts adolescents’ development and health. Some adolescents are subjected to or become exposed to negative effects of social media that include cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and access to inappropriate content. One study showed that about 25% of adolescents are likely to experience an act of cyberbullying.  While self-presentation is a positive effect of social media, the negative feedback due to cyberbullying may lead to social anxiety or depression. Depression associated changes in sleep cycles have been associated with the use of social media. Besides depression, intensive use of social media may also lead to problems at school, automotive accidents, and loss of memory. Studies have also shown that social media affect how adolescents feel others are perceiving them. Further, social media have increased risks of substance abuse, violence, and sexual activity among teens. Youths exposed to inappropriate content and those applauded for sharing risky behaviors such as alcohol consumption may have become poor in deciding what to post on social media.  Since social media platforms are profit-oriented, inappropriate content such as alcohol, sexual activities, and unhealthy products may reach adolescents. Despite the findings on the pros and cons of social media on adolescents, future writing research should focus on impacts on identity development, interventions for negative effects, the risk associated with problematic use of social media, and the best age for one to use social media.


Allen, S. (2019, September 20). Social media’s growing impact on our lives. American Psychological Association.

Uhls, Y. T., Ellison, N. B., & Subrahmanyam, K. (2017). Benefits and costs of social media in adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S67-S70. DOI: