The way that teens receive and send information has evolved with the introduction of social media. Technology has been integrated into society more and more and it can have an effect on many aspects of your teen’s life. Although social media provides positive ways to stay in touch with friends and family, there are many negative effects on a teen’s communication style and habits.
Sense of urgency
Social media has created a sense of urgency in regards to communication. Not only can teens view and respond to content quickly but they are also learning to expect to receive answers and feedback at a fast rate. This expectation and sense of urgency can translate into impatience when things take longer than they are accustomed to via Facebook.
Need to share
Not everything needs to be shared on the internet and teens can have a difficult time drawing that line. Many teens constantly feel the need to broadcast their daily lives on social media platforms which can lead to regret. A fleeting moment of bad judgment can have a lasting effect on a teen’s social life and self-esteem.
Limited social interaction via social media platforms can be a healthy habit when controlled. If your teen becomes consumed with social media to the point that it turns unhealthy, it might be appropriate to initiate a conversation to make some lifestyle changes. If your teen has made social media the focal point of their lives, it may be time to implement restrictions and cut back on screen time.
The ability to post a comment or photo is too easy with social media and too widespread. Whether anonymously or not, social media messages tend to be more open, and bullying via the internet becomes “easier” when hurtful words aren’t spoken face-to-face but are communicated behind a keyboard. Have a talk with your teen to ensure that they are using social media responsibly.
When your teen communicates with you or their friends through social media or even simple texting, they miss out on nonverbal cues such as body language, voice intonations and facial expressions. This absence of cues can lead to miscommunication which can easily spark arguments and hurt feelings. Even the insertion of emojis isn’t enough sometimes to read between the lines.
Absence of privacy
Ensure that your teen’s privacy settings are safely set to avoid outside dangers or unwanted eyes on their account. Not only can it be dangerous, but it can be negative for a job or college application.
Lack of diversity
Teens can narrow down who they want to follow and they have the power to accept and decline friends. This means that teens can follow the individuals that they agree with so they don’t often meet people with differing opinions from themselves. This can lead to closed-mindedness and a limited view of the outside world.
In a world of autocorrect, it’s already easy to be lazy with apostrophes and capitalization when you know it’s going to be corrected for you. On social media platforms, shorthand versions of words become trendy and it can be “cool” to use misspellings. This bad habit can transfer to academic writing and even to sloppy speech. Try to encourage your teen to use proper grammar and punctuation, even when texting or typing.
Lessened face-to-face interaction
A study noted that 1 in 4 people spend more time socializing online through social media sites than they do in person. Many individuals prefer to communicate via email rather than meeting in person and teens are growing up in a society where they would rather text than call. Face-to-face interaction continues to reign supreme so teach your teen where to draw the line.
Studies show that society is actually becoming more social and interactive but the way communication is happening is shifting. Social media isn’t all negative as it allows your teen to communicate quickly with friends across the globe and it makes updating family a breeze when a quick message can keep them posted on life changes. As a parent, find a balance between freedom and healthy monitoring. If you are on social media, be a role model to your teen as even though they might never admit it, they are watching what you do.