Social Media is a form of electronic communication, through which users create online communities and groups to share information, ideas, and personal messages. Such forms include: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; these sites are open to everyone age thirteen and older. Facebook launched in 2004, and to date has 1.28 billion active users per month (newsroom).Twitter introduced the concept of “microblogging” to the world in 2006, and today has 255 million active users(Craig Smith). Instagram, the favorite social media site for picture sharing, is right behind Twitter, with 200 million active users, which launched in 2010 (Instagram).
Through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, teenagers can post, tweet, and share pictures of what they are doing at any given time, or place. Social media helps people keep up with family members, or friends that live in another state, or even around the globe, get to know other children at school better, and connect with new people through common shared interests and hobbies.
In such a tech savvy world, today teens spend most of their time of social media websites, giving status updates or posting pictures, showing off to their peers. On average fifty-one percent of teens say they use social media sites and least once a day, and thirty-four percent say twice or more a day (commonsensemedia).
On any of these sites, popularity is dependent on different factors, for Facebook the number of friends a person has determines popularity, for Twitter how many people favorite, or retweet posts, and Instagram the number of followers and number of likes on a photo determines a person’s popularity compared to a friends’. For example, Kim Kardashian has fourteen million followers on Instagram and her posts average five-hundred thousand likes.
Most teens say that social media has a positive effect on emotional well-being rather than a negative one, but there are teens who say social media does affect how they view themselves. Twenty- nine percent of teens say social media makes then less shy, and fifteen percent say social media improves the way they feel amount themselves(commonsensemedia). Social media is not always used for keeping up with friends, drama starts easily, which leads to cyberbullying, the posting of damaging or cruel text or images using the internet or other digital communication. A single post is all it takes to hurt another, with social media bullies have an easier time picking on their weaker peers. Cyberbullying can lead to suicide, depression, and a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression”, which is defined as “depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression”(Gwenn O’Keeffe, Kathleen Pearson).Anyone can anonymously post hurtful messages or pictures. For instance, Billy Wolfe, a sophomore (2008) in Fayetteville, Arkansas was a victim of cyber bullying, which went on for years....