Impact of social media on social, emotional, and educational development of early adolescents – By Lubna Iram


Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and network. Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktops and laptops or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices. When engaging with these services, users can create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online. Social media changes the way individuals and large organizations communicate. Social media differ from paper-based media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) to traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, interactivity, usability, immediacy, and performance. Social media outlets operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources to many receivers). Some of the most popular social media websites are Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Viber, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest etc. The leading social networks are generally available in multiple languages and enable users to connect with friends or people across geographical, political, or economic borders. Approximately 2 billion internet users are using social networks and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction. 

Human beings go through many stages of growth and development right from the time of conception till their death. Each of this stage is characterized by distinct and unique characteristics, which set it apart from the previous stage. The stage of development that is marked at the beginning by the onset of puberty and at the end by the attainment of physiological and psychological maturity is called as adolescence. Adolescence is derived from a Latin word adolescere, meaning “to grow into maturity”. It is a life stage between childhood and adulthood. Adolescents are referred to as teens or teenagers and the period of adolescence is strongly associated with teenage years.

Social media has both positive and negative effects on adolescents. Youngsters use social media for both educational and entertainment purposes, online medium gives them direct exposure to the world.

Literature review

Kirschner and Karpinsk,( 2010) in ‘computer in human behavior’ define Facebook and other social network sites as an online directory that allows people to find their friends, family and colleagues through looking them up on social network sites.

Victoria Rideout (2012) in ‘Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View from The Classroom. Commonsense’ states that, among the younger generation, the time they spend on social media, what she calls ‘entertainment media’ is “more than twice the average amount of time spent in school each year.” And an American child spends on average seven and a half hours a day just for having fun on the media, not only that, but they multi-task, between all the different media they use. For example, they can be listening to music, sending a tweet and also posting on Facebook.

Shikha Kapur (2015) in ‘Adolescence: The Stage of Transition’ observe that adolescence- a life stage, that lies between childhood and adulthood. It is a stage, when complete metamorphosis takes place and is akin to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon which in its former stage is a caterpillar! The speed of adolescent changes varies among cultures and societies since they are contingent on the processes of socialization, training and education. Key developmental milestones are achieved during adolescence and in order to understand adolescents it is important to understand their physical, cognitive, psychological, social, emotional, moral, educational and vocational development and the ensuing changes.

Statement of the Problem

Social media is a tool which can be used for educational, entertainment and commercial purposes. Adolescents are in a stage of metamorphosis. Exposure to social media can be a cause for any positive and negative changes. The educational websites or applications can bring positive changes while other social networking can cause multiple problems. However, the question arises, how much time teenagers spent on social media? Does it affect their studies? Does it affect their social life? Whether they faced any problems due to the use of social media? How it affects their behavior?

Objectives of the study

  1. To know the status of social, emotional and educational development of early adolescents.
  2. To study the positive and negative effects of social media on social, emotional and educational development of early adolescents

Research Design

Data will be collected through personal interview technique. Since Hindi and English are known language for teenagers. The interview schedule will be prepared in Hindi and English to facilitate better understanding in communication while collecting data from the respondents as per their choice of language.

The respondents will be early adolescents from age group of 11 years to 15 years.

Limitations of study

  1. The generalization of results will be limited to those geographical areas which are similar to the area of investigation.
  2. The objectivity of the study is limited to recall ability on furnishing the required information.

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