It’s important to note that social media can be a positive platform, and often is. People can be connected and find connections. It allows people to travel and explore.
Additionally, many teens are already aware of social media safety. But the dark side of social media takes advantage of teenagers’ need to be heard. This desperate craving, to be liked by people they’ve never met, and to have their perspectives heard, is exactly what social media exploits.
— Kate, Pennsylvania
In the end, here is what teenagers wished adults understood about teenage life online:
I feel adults don’t necessarily understand why teenagers use social media so often. In our generation, we tend to use our cellphones to socialize with our friends, and sometimes post about each other or just share things. What adults don’t realize is that sometimes we feel left out if we aren’t responding to group chats, or seeing each other’s posts.
— Ellie, Hasbrouck Heights High School
Adults today can sometimes fail to understand the critical impact cyberbullying has on adolescents. Bullying was present during their time; however, their kind of bullying may have been either physical or a face-to-face exchange. Adults can fail to realize cyber bullying has the same effects on children as bullying had on kids during their time.
— Chason, Ellisville
Something the older generations don’t quite understand is friendships online. One can interact with people worldwide every day and grow a close bond with them through social media. Many adults only see these bonds through a negative point of view; calling these friendships dangerous, unsafe, and unreasonable. In contrast to their viewpoints, some children have met people who truly understand them for the first time online and made the best friends of their life. Adults should understand that life online has opened many doors for teenagers, that if not opened life as they know it would be drastically different.
— Kate, ELLISVILLE
The internet will have its moments, whether it’s a funny trend, or my friend sends a funny snap, but other than that, it kind of just turns into a routine, checking who snapped, or how many texts you have, or the latest sports clip. My parents have helped me to incorporate a routine in my work to combat being online all the time, which is I work with my phone out of my room until I finish my work. Because of this, my concentration, and the speed at which I do my work went up. I have been spending a little less time online, but I still spend a lot of time texting after I finish my work.
— Miles, Hoggard High School