Social Media Age Has Risks

Photo+by+Nicole+Villareal
Photo by Nicole Villareal

Photo by Nicole Villareal

Photo by Nicole Villareal

Nicole Villarreal, junior

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Digital devices such as computers and cell phones have changed the game of high school romance. Applications like Snapchat, Instagram, and other means of media have consumed today’s youth. While although this new social media age creates new opportunities for young love, it also creates many new risks that teenagers must face.

Health and Medical Sciences junior Rosa Ramos said, “Technology has become involved a lot because before we didn’t have anything, so you could obviously see them in person but now you can Facetime them, call, and message.”

Having constant communication by being social or even talking face to face through a screen changed how people interact. Social sites like Snapchat have replaced actual dating.

There is an uncertainty that technology puts into a relationship. When having a significant other there is a possibility that there will be sharing of photos to please one another. Some studies estimate that about 50% of teens have engaged in sexting at one point or another.

It has become normal with the atmosphere that teens are in now. Adolescents today are exposed to more sexualized content than any other generation from music videos to advertisements.

Health and Medical Sciences junior Xochitl Sawyer said, “I feel like sending those types of pictures turns into what the relationship is and they are always asking for them.”

This new standard and insistent nature of these new “social media age” relationships creates an uncomfortable air in a new relationship an issue previous generations have had to face.

Social media has opened the possibilities to meeting someone to an endless pool of potential interests. Not only are teens able to interact with students in their school, but with everyone around the world. This increases the potential danger of a predator getting in contact with them.

Online magazine Psychology Today reports that predators often take several months gaining their trust and pretending to be an age they are not. There have been several cases in which this has happened.

In 2011, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Megan Meier as one of the many victims of cyber-bullying. It started as an innocent flirty online conversation with a teenage boy. Meier began receiving messages that suggested that the world be a better place without her and other negative texts.  The teen had struggled with depression since a young age and it led to her committing suicide.

Teens and youth should be more cautious of who they talk to online. In the case of cyber-bullying, talk to a close friend or family member about it or an adult on your school’s campus.  

Nearly all states have anti-bullying laws, and no one should ever conform to society’s views. It is necessary for everyone to stand up for what is right.

The digital world has revolutionized teenage romance but it is not always true love. There is no doubt the digital age is here to stay.

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