Surprising Ways Your Teen Benefits From Social Media

social media for teens

How Teenagers Benefit From Social Media

While there is plenty in the news these days about how teenagers are falling victim to cyberbully attacks on social media, the truth is that, when proper parental guidance exists, there are many ways that young people benefit by using social media. Of course, social media use can be too much of a good thing, and parents have a responsibility to both limit their teenagers’ time on social media as well as to have a good idea what they are doing online in general. Although it may come as a surprise to some, when teenagers are taught to follow good social etiquette – the practice of following the good manners in cyberspace just as they should be followed offline – they can use social media to make friends, do some good in the world, express themselves and to generally learn and grow.

Making friends

Through social media, teenagers can form new friendships as well as strengthen existing ones. Teenagers have always excelled at using the latest in communication technology to interact with their peers, and the Internet age is no exception. Forming healthy friendships during adolescence is critical, and the Internet can help make this happen. Through social media, teenagers can reach out to friends whenever they need them, and they can draw support from where its most valued.

Social media also allows teenagers to interact with peers who live in other parts of the world. In decades past, teenagers had pen pals; today the same positive dynamic can exist online, and communication is a lot easier. Studies show that teenagers themselves feel that social media helps them make friends that they wouldn’t have made without it.

Interestingly, while many adults find that using social media makes them feel isolated, the opposite is true for teenagers, who feel that it puts them in touch and in the moment with the age group they care about the most – their own. Moreover, using the Internet well is becoming a required life skill, and using social media helps teenagers in this regard.

Doing good

Adolescence is often a time of idealism, and the Internet makes it possible for young people to help out the less fortunate and promote positive causes more easily than ever before. A teenager can find out about online petitions pertaining to human rights, environmental issues and poverty through social media and put their signatures on them. Young people can share inspirational stories or raise awareness of their favorite charities with the click of a mouse.

Expressing, learning and growing

Whatever a teenager’s talent is – singing, dancing, crafting, playing an instrument, etc. – social media can allow them to show it to the world. Teenagers who share the same artistic impulses find one another online and connect through their mutual form of self-expression and find inspiration and energy.

For teenage writers in particular, social media can be a platform to share their work and get useful feedback; gone are the days of sending in stories to the few magazines that might publish them then not hearing back for weeks. In the digital age, teenage fiction and nonfiction can take off online and provide validation for young authors expressing their thoughts, observations and emotions.

Social media is an excellent tool for gathering useful information. A teenager who wants to learn about a sport they play, for example, can see instructional videos, listen to the advice of experienced coaches and get dialed into the latest techniques.

Traditionally, teenagers have felt like no one else has the same problems they do, but social media shows them this is not the case. If a teenager has an eating disorder, for instance, they can find support from others with the same problem online.

Conclusion

While social media can be a great thing for teenagers, it’s up to their parents to show them that it’s more than a place to post goofy pictures. If a teenager shows a positive interest, finding out about college opportunities, for instance, it’s a good idea to encourage them to use social media to learn more. Teenagers can also use social media to research the occupations that interest them the most.

Surprising Ways Your Teen Benefits From Social Media

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