Teachers' Day Contest: Impact Of Social Media On Teens


I have been teaching since, last seventeen years, enjoying my profession. It has given me a new direction, a new identity and most important sense of satisfaction. One aspect of growing up that has changed dramatically in the past few years but has not received scant attention is the advent of social media or online social networking.

Social Media are computer mediated tools, that allow people and organizations, to create, share or exchange information in virtual communities and networks. Young people have been heavy adopters of social media, today's generation of teenagers is the first cohort to have grown up with online social networking sites especially the Millennial kids. YouTube, FaceBook, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Instagram are all primary interface with the Internet. One must clearly understand that these portals are generally used in an 'always on' state via smartphones and tablets hence the children are permanently connected to their virtual social network, continually receiving and checking feed, regularly posting their own updates, blogs etc. Instant gratification and encouragement is expressed if a post is liked or shared. It's a tool for developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships, a real time portal for accessing information, news advice and support as well as a canvas for sketching a selective and idealised self - portrait.

One must clearly understand that these portals are generally used in an 'always on' state via smartphones and tablets hence the children are permanently connected to their virtual social network.

Years ago when society got bored with television, same thematic serials, repeat telecast of serials, came YouTube as a big relief to aid a DIFFERENT Media expression. One could upload their own music, lectures, funny stories and creative ideas: a digital revolution. It transformed the virtual world overnight increasing the web viewership equally among adults and and younger generation.

I could see the changes in my teaching career as I could bring interactive content learning tools, smart board, make my class rooms connect to virtual world it has added to my personal growth and development. However it has posed many challenges and made me think to give it a thought now because of increasing number of cases in my classes year after year. I have students who are restless, depressed. This brings some major complementary theories