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Social Toxicity, Adolescence and Social Media

November 7, 2017

As a middle school teacher, I am thrown into the front lines of the social media war between the students and the real world. I realize that the term war, when referring to kids and social media is very strong, but we are literally in a fight to save the minds of our adolescent youth. I was in college when Facebook and MySpace were newly released to the world, so I have had a steady picture on how things have progressed through time. Today the students are leaving the realm of Facebook only to turn to other social media outlets such a Snap Chat. With the development of smart phones, it is extremely easy for a young child to be inundated into a world that is unfortunately filled with adult age material. The introductions of smart phones and social media into our everyday lives, has created disastrous situations.

Being a school teacher, I have the opportunity to be exposed to students who use a lot of social media. Listening to the conversations between the students, I cannot help but think, how much socially negative behaviors these kids know, when compared to what I knew at that age. How many times in the media, do we have to hear about a child committing suicide for cyber bullying because he or she posted a sensitive picture of themselves on a social media site. I realize that suicide is an extreme example, so lets consider this. It has been already proven that children of today who are always using some sort of media device for social media, are not learning and or losing any sort of interpersonal skills. The adolescence of today do not know how to communicate with adults and each other in the real world. The lack of interpersonal skills will destroy the child once they head into life. How many times have you gone into a restaurant and see a family or a group of friends getting ready to have dinner. No one in the group is talking to one another because they have their heads buried in the smart phone. The way I see it, if you are going to do that, you might as well eat by yourself, or eat at home.

By no way am I trying to condemn these technologies. I use Facebook to keep in contact with my family. What I am trying to communicate is the need for some sort of parental regulation by the child mother and father, Phones and social media are here to stay, so to combat this as parents, teachers, whoever, we need to look into alternatives for these devices so that they can provide their intended purpose, which is to make our lives better.

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