Teens and Social Media Use: What's the impact?


Social-Networking sites provide to sharing your views with friends and community people for positive impact in community social activities, discussion issues have been overlooked by concern authorities for discus on burning issues that has been overlooked in today was going on and also for discussion on issues that have been not noticed in to-day world. This study is conducted to check the impact of Social-Networking sites in the education of youth. This is a survey in this type of research and here the data was collected through the questionnaire.

The main objectives were to check the effect of social media on youth and to check out the beneficial and favor form of social-Media for youth to determine the attitude of youth towards Social-Networking sites.

Social-Media promotes unethical pictures, video clips, cartoons and images among youth, anti-religious anti-country posts and links create hatred among people of different communities, Negative use of social-Media is deteriorating the relationship among the countries, and social-Media is playing a key role to create political awareness among youth.

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The study was conducted in and around and the selection of respondents was through a random sampling method. The total sample size was 62. The result indicated general information of the respondents indicated that the percentage of the respondents belonged to (17 to 27) year age group. The majority (20.30%) of the respondents were male. The overall opinion index of the respondents to the extent of (80.70) percent and course studying is positively significant with the opinion of respondents. Overall usefulness index to the extent of 70 percent.

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The Internet is a very essential part of life from shopping to electronic mails and education, internet is very important. It is a very large community which is using the internet for pure education but unfortunately, we have also a very large number of people including the majority of youth and teenagers using the Internet only for social networks. Internet is a very big evolution of technology but when we talk about social networks it is extremely dangerous for youth and become enormously common and widespread in the past few years. The phenomena of the social network is quite simple to understand, it is a web-based facility which allows the individual user to build a profile identity and generate subjective associations and connections among himself and list of other friends and communicate with them at a central location. These websites are powered by many international companies because these websites are centrally visited by millions of people thus companies can get benefit of advertisements, this is how social networks are get paid; user can register himself free of cost in social networking sites like facebook.com, orkut.com and linkedin.com etc. People get connected to one another after registration and then post news, information, fake news and other things including videos and pictures etc.

Although social network can be used for good purposes but it is generally used for the involvement of digital snapshots, illuminating demographic material and information, exposing securities, and conducting online conversations, because many communities motivate user for this kind of inappropriate actions and these communities has almost spoiled the image of social networks. In late 1990’s social network born with Web 2.0 introducing features of blogging and posting with the website named sixdegrees.com (1997) which allows user to create profiles and make friends, later it come up with new features in year 2003 a new face of social networks linkedin.com and myspace.com but in year  2003 facebook.com and orkut.com change the total concept of social networks in the history of social media and web sciences, it changes the definition of social networks.

After year 2010 social networks were very much advance with new features, by new features the user even can change the whole front end appearance of the website on his profile which is a step New media in Pakistan is ranked as 6th heavily populated country of the world with around 170 million people. New media is rapidly becoming part of the lives of Pakistani people, and particularly the access to internet and revolution in cellular industry has influenced their lives to a great extent. In recent years, an unprecedented rise has been seen in Pakistan in terms of use of Internet and especially social media networking sites (Groupin.pk, 2011). People of every age group use the gadgets like mobile phones, i-pads, and tablets with Internet facility. They use new media for tri-dimensional purposes i.e. information, entertainment and especially connectivity. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Viber and WhatsApp are largely used for the purpose of communication and connectivity. It is relevant to mention that Pakistan has an expanded IT industry, which is considered of giving a significant boost to the economic growth of the country in years to come. In Pakistan, there are around 100 million mobile users and 29 million internet users. According to an estimate, about 14 million consumers use mobile Internet (Qadeer, 2016).

The people, who have access to the Internet, are frequent users of social media. According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, a large majority (i.e. 92%) of internet users are regular consumers of social media. Since Pakistan is a male-dominated society, the number of male consumers is higher as compared to female consumers (Gallup, 2016). It is worth mentioning that Pakistan is one of the countries in the world where youth are in majority. Around 62-percent population of the country comprises youth of age ranged between 18-24 years (Awan, 2013). A large majority of youth, especially urban inhabitants, is a regular consumer of social media. Mostly, social media tools are used for the purpose of social interaction and political discourse. It is also used for e-commerce, socio-political discussions and political activism. It is believed that the advent of new media has enabled Pakistani youth to express their opinion publically on various social and political issues. Now, the youth are much more connected and expressive as New media technologies and Youth in Pakistan 109 compared to past.

As a matter of fact, social media use has become a trend in Pakistan and there are more than 44 million social media accounts in the country. Facebook is the most popular among social websites with 30 million users across the country (Geonews, 2017). The political use of new media Globally, social media has become a tool used for political engagement (Bronstein & Aharony, 2015) and, political discussions (Raine et al., 2012). It is such an important tool that has been found to have the ability to influence political opinions (Gionis, Terzi, & Tsaparas, 2013) and even voting behavior (Biswas, Ingle, & Roy, 2014). In the recent past, political use of new media was quite less in Pakistan and in general elections of 2008, the country‟s political parties used their official websites and also YouTube to some extent to project their manifestos and other information (Riaz, 2010). However afterward, the political use of new media rapidly became quite frequent (Ali, Jan, & Iqbal, 2013). In the 2013 elections, almost all prominent political parties utilized new media to influence young voters. Even now, the ruling party and the Opposition with the help of new media propagate their political views.

Also, youth are very much active in the cyber world to defend their favorite leaders and respond to the propaganda against them (Zaheer, 2016). In Pakistan, social media has been used quite effectively for motivating and mobilizing the youth. Particularly during the times of floods 2010, the youth provided regular updates through social media about relief activities, rehabilitation, and the needs of the victims (Groupin, 2011). Since access to the internet provides global connectivity to consumers, it has opened new vistas of employment worldwide for Pakistani youth. Youth belonging even to remote areas of Pakistan can avail of worldwide opportunities and prospects (Donnell & Afridi, 2016). Pakistani youth effectively used and benefitted from new media to respond the malicious campaigns against Islam. Some years back, when a foreigner uploaded a derogatory post about Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), the youth used social media and registered their protest worldwide. These online activities motivated and supported offline activities and protests, which forced the Pakistani government to remove and ban such content at the Internet (Sekho, 2017). New media is also helpful with reference to the empowerment of women.

As a matter of fact, Pakistan is a patriarchal society and the traditional media reflects an element of gender-bias in its contents. Now efforts are being made to inspire Pakistani youth through social media to raise voice against gender-based violence. Thus, new media is regarded as important to counter the negative impact of traditional media content (John, 2014). Adverse effects of new media Various research studies have examined the effects of new media and found its influence on consumers, either negatively or positively. Although new media has transformed the lives of people in a positive way, there are certain adverse effects of this new technology as well. In today‟s world, online communication has become more preferred and prevalent as compared to face-to-face interactions. Therefore, apprehensions have been shown in various societies that relationships through new media have diverted the people to spend time with their families and intimate relations (Bessiere et al., 2008). On one hand, the new Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan – Vol. 55, No. 1, January - July, 2018 110 media technologies have provided a platform to develop peer culture amongst youth, however, on the other end, these have weakened the family culture. In today‟s world, youth prefer to spend much time with their online friends. Even when they are with their families, they are accompanied with cyber friends (Kaare et al., 2007).

So is the case with Pakistani youth, they prefer to be online through cyberworld accounts. It often discourses that excessive online interactions are taking them away from their families and real-life relationships. Particularly, cell phones have introduced a new lifestyle, both in rural and urban areas, (Culture360, 2010) which has occupied the time and attention that was earlier reserved for family members and intimate relations. In Pakistan, traditional media is often criticized for being irresponsible (Zaheer, 2016; 2016b; 2016c), working with a commercialized approach, and ignoring the journalistic code of ethics (Haider, 2016). However, social media is far ahead in terms of irresponsible behavior. Sometimes, it is felt that the use of social media is alienating the youth from national, social, and Islamic values as well (Baloch, 2014): the reason being the misuse of social media and social networking sites. Youth have got involved in unproductive and sometimes destructive activities, which are casting harmful effects on society and its members. Although, new media has provided the youth various platforms to express their opinion, but is considered as the only source to release their frustration by talking against the things they dislike. While discoursing any issue, the feelings, sensitivities, and respect of others are absolutely disregarded (Khan, 2015). Political leaders are particularly common victims of that frustration and annoyance (Chaudary, 2015). In the name of political communication and online political participation, immoral and abusive language against political leaders is adopted.

Furthermore, sharing of unsophisticated posts and unethically photoshopped pictures of politicians has become a common tendency amongst online communities. Pakistan is an Islamic country with certain religious and social values. Advent of new media is thought to have endangered these social norms and also morality of youth. Being a conventional society, open friendships or relationships with opposite gender are not permissible. However, new media notion has changed the principles of socialization and resultantly the youth belonging to different social classes are getting involved to interact and indulge in friendships with the opposite gender. Various unpleasant incidents like suicides and murders have also been reported in media linked with the aftermath of social media friendships. The use of new media tools is like an addiction and students use these for hours, which is a wastage of time that otherwise could be spent in constructive and productive activities, like studying and learning skills (Karadkar, 2015). Research studies have found that new media obsession affects interpersonal relationships of people (Suhail & Bargees, 2006) and the addicted Internet users remain weak rather poor academically (Nalwa & Anand, 2003).

It is happening in Pakistan where youth are losing their attention towards studies due to technology gadgets. Instead of gaining in-depth knowledge, the students are focused on acquiring superficial news. They have particularly been found to be cautious about their looks and status. A competition of show-off seems rampant. The excessive use of the Internet has New media technologies and Youth in Pakistan 111 negatively affected the mental health of students (Ahmed & Qazi, 2011), gaming, and exercise habits of students in Pakistan (Hussain & Pervez, 2012). Another unfortunate aspect of new media technology is the quest for sexual content. Regrettably, Pakistan is ranked at top amongst eight Muslim states followed by Egypt, in searching porn content. Social media groups and forums of various schools, colleges and universities indicate sexual conversation amongst youth (Pak parenting, 2016). In order to restrict unethical traffic, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had to block around 64,000 websites having pornographic, blasphemous and other immoral content (Khan, 2015). Even then, youth look for sexual content in form of videos and most of time fake identities and social media accounts are used to upload inappropriate, porn or adult content (Tariq et al., 2012).

This behavior has become a big problem for the online safety of women and complaints about online women harassment (Awan, 2013) and blackmailing are received frequently (Shah, 2015). Considering the situation, the Government of Pakistan has recently passed the „Cyber Crime law‟ to restrict the misapplication of new media technologies. Despite these efforts, the cyber-related crimes and the issues of women's harassment have not been eliminated. In the name of adventure, youth are also involved in hacking various websites and accounts. Sometimes, important State websites are hacked by youngsters. Unfortunately, new media tools are even used to generate and disseminate such materials, posts and/or images that are detrimental to the national dignity and foreign relationship with the other countries (Sekho, 2017). Pakistan is a victim of terrorism since many decades. Extremism and radicalism are thought to be the core reasons behind the menace of terrorism. Social media is heavily used for the purpose of dispersion of hate speech (Awan, 2013) and propaganda, which disturbs the efforts to curb extremism and terrorism.

Pakistan army‟s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) retains official social media accounts to inform and update the general public about the military-related news. However sometimes through fake accounts, false news material is spread in the name of ISPR. Recently after a suicide attack in the country, several bogus warnings, threat alerts, and emergency numbers were circulated attributing these with ISPR. These fake threats and warnings spread panic in the country (Pakistan today, 2017). Higher authorities of Interior Ministry often opine that the “negative role” of social media in the shape of rumor-mongering even regarding armed forces affects the “war on terror” and bring down the morale of security forces (Pakistan today, 2016).


It may be concluded that social media in Pakistan has been used as a modern tool for the dissemination of personal and collective opinions (Mashhadi, 2014). It is believed that positive use of social media may educate Pakistani youth and develop their knowledge, information and skills in academic terms. It can be used for socio-political awareness, enhance language proficiency and scholarly debates. The element of connectivity does help to develop inter-cultural relationships in cyber community (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). However, the misuse of new media technologies has become a big problem, imparting harmful effects on society and youth in particular. It is suggested that without restricting the digital rights and freedom of expression, efforts should be made to restrict the negative use of new media technologies.

  • What Social-Networking sites do you use?
  • How many Hours a day do you spend on these sites?
  • Why do you use these Social-Networking sites?
  • If yes, what are tha reasons?
  • What are the personal benefits of using Social-Networking sites?
  • What do you believe are tha disadvantages of using Social-Networking sites?
  • Do you think privacy policies are effective in Social-Networking sites?
  • To what extent do you think Social-Networking sites are impacting your overall well being?
  • What emotions do you experience when using Social-Networking sites?
  • How do these emotions impact on your overall wellbeing?
Updated: May 19, 2021
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Teens and Social Media Use: What's the impact?. (2020, Oct 16). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/teens-and-social-media-use-whats-the-impact-essay

Teens and Social Media Use: What's the impact? essay
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