Impact of Social Media on the Generation of Youth

As the world stepped into a new era of progress, the introduction of the internet and social media seemed to unleash a wave of joy among the youth. It appeared as if a surge of happiness swept through the young generation as they began devoting hours of their time to the internet to alleviate their boredom. With the rise of the internet, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and others became popular, leading the youth to believe they had found their paradise, distancing themselves from the real world and its complexities.

In the meantime, the first loss was on families. The effect was that it became imperative for families to possess high-quality mobile phones, iPhones, iPads, and faster laptops and computers to engage in internet use. As a result, the mobile and computer industry found a path to expand. The most significant social media impact was that what was once considered a luxury, that an ordinary or middle-class individual could not comprehend, is now commonplace. In these households, every member has access to Android and iPhones, along with internet connections and packages.

The second detriment of excessive internet use is the deteriorating health of the youth generation. Due to insufficient sleep, their health is being adversely affected. Among the youth, there is an increase in frustration and depression. They constantly upload videos on Instagram and Facebook or create mindless TikTok content, obsessively checking the number of likes and comments they receive. Essentially, they have become their creators, producers, and self-directed influencers, constantly viewing their low-quality videos and content. Astonishingly, they have found like-minded enthusiasts who appreciate their content, leading them to perceive themselves as top-notch creators.

It is perplexing that for their mediocre videos and content, they have found admirers who share their interests. This has led them to perceive themselves as creators of top-tier content. The irony lies in the fact that they attract similar enthusiasts who, due to this connection, begin to perceive mundane content as top-notch. 

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The third consequence of excessive internet use is the adverse impact on the mental well-being of the youth. With the constant comparison of likes, comments, and online popularity, there is a growing sense of inadequacy and pressure among the younger generation. The virtual world, once seen as an escape, has now become a source of stress and anxiety.

The forth drawback is that politicians have started using the youth, who were once enamored with social media, for their political gains. Every political party had already established media cells, and now they have also created social media cells, assigning tasks to the youth to actively engage in discrediting opposing parties. The unrestrained fervor of social media upheavals has been observed over the past few years. Politicians have begun to exploit social media for their agendas, initiating a tug-of-war with their political rivals that has reached unprecedented levels.

No politician in the country, be it a statesman, scholar, writer, or even a religious leader, is safe from the influence of these unbridled and ill-informed social media enthusiasts. The previous government had systematically created a force among the youth that dismantled ethical values in politics. The consequences of this societal upheaval will take an unknown amount of time to rectify because technology is rapidly advancing, and who knows what new challenges will emerge in the future, requiring early assessments.

The fifth detriment of social media is that the younger generation, already captivated by its charm, has delved into it. People of all ages and backgrounds have found things according to their liking. Look around you; every person (men, women, youth, children) using the internet will catch your attention. People engaged in internet and mobile usage can be observed in homes, markets, schools, colleges, religious seminaries, and even hospitals (where a little negligence from medical professionals due to internet usage can harm patients).

In private hospitals, it might be a bit lenient, but in government hospitals, you will find employees engrossed in internet and mobile usage from doctors to janitors. Even in private hospitals, from free Wi-Fi to Facetime with doctors, the benefits of internet and mobile usage will be apparent.

The sixth drawback is that the use of mobile phones has increased the rate of accidents in society. You might see a motorcyclist, having the entire family on the motorcycle, tilted to one side while talking on a mobile phone plugged into his ear. Through this action, he has put the entire life of his family on the line. Similarly, on the roads, you might witness a long line of cars behind a driver, all engrossed in mobile phone conversations, causing traffic congestion.

The seventh loss of social media is the increasing number of people viewing unethical content, predominantly the youth. This has led to heightened excitement in the new generation, and the youth, feeling a connection to the global village, are constantly comparing themselves with the Western countries. A generation has emerged that not only imitates Western fashion but also adopts Western cultural practices in their lifestyle, from clothing to food.

They consider the green vegetables grown in their countries not only a matter of their taste but also an insult to their dignity. They have embraced the fast-food culture with items like pizza, burgers, and shawarma. It is now essential to educate this generation that continuous consumption of such items is detrimental to health, despite the allure these hold for their taste buds.

Another drawback of social media is that the youth has developed a habit of playing various games on the internet, which are said to be addictive and should be avoided by the youth. Alongside this, the youth also form friendships and relationships with foreign girls/women on social media, but it has been observed that most of these relationships fail. Recently, a Pakistani married woman gained notoriety on the internet for forming a friendship through the infamous game “PUBG” with a boy residing in Delhi, India.

They eventually got married in Nepal, and now the girl is not willing to come to Pakistan, while those in India consider her a spy and want to send her back. Similar cases have surfaced where an Indian girl, after marrying in Pakistan, is not ready to return to India. These recent cases have come to light, while there are numerous cases caused by the internet. (express news).

In defense of technology and social media, the younger generation argues that it connects them with the whole world. It makes it easy for them to search for things related to their studies, and so on. However, if a comparison is made, the number of people benefiting from the internet is undoubtedly lower than those suffering due to it. Who knows where this trend will stop because now the whole world understands that all educational institutions have embraced online study, and the younger generation considers using mobile phones and the internet as their right. Parents are forced to accept their statements.

Effects of Social Media on the Teenager

As we navigate this digital age, it becomes imperative for both individuals and society to promote responsible internet usage, fostering an environment where the youth can thrive both online and offline. By addressing these challenges, we can pave the way for a future where the positive aspects of technology empower the youth without compromising their physical and mental health. Ultimately, a harmonious integration of the digital and physical realms is essential for a well-rounded and resilient youth population.

Moreover, the role of parents, educators, and policymakers is crucial in guiding the youth toward a balanced and healthy use of technology. Educational programs can be implemented to enhance digital literacy, teaching young individuals to critically evaluate online content and understand the potential impact on their well-being.

Parents and guardians play a vital role in setting boundaries and promoting open communication about internet usage. Encouraging offline activities, hobbies, and face-to-face interactions can contribute significantly to the overall development of the youth. By fostering a supportive and communicative environment, we can help the younger generation navigate the complexities of the digital world.

In essence, recognizing the effects of social media on the youth is the first step towards fostering a more mindful and intentional use of technology. Through collaborative efforts, we can build a society where the youth harness the positive aspects of the digital age while safeguarding their mental and physical health, ultimately ensuring a well-balanced and resilient generation for the future.

Furthermore, the influence of social media on the youth extends beyond personal well-being to societal dynamics. It has become a powerful tool for social change, activism, and awareness. The same platforms that contribute to some of the challenges also provide a platform for voices that may have been marginalized in traditional media.

Recognizing the potential for positive impact, efforts can be directed towards utilizing social media as a catalyst for positive change. Empowering the youth to use these platforms responsibly for social causes, activism, and constructive dialogue can lead to a generation that not only navigates the digital landscape adeptly but also contributes positively to the global community.

In this rapidly evolving digital landscape, adaptability and resilience are essential qualities for the youth. As they face the challenges posed by social media, fostering critical thinking, empathy, and a sense of community can equip them with the tools needed to thrive in an interconnected world.

In conclusion, the impact of social media on the youth is multifaceted, encompassing personal, societal, and global dimensions. By fostering a balanced, informed, and responsible approach to technology, we can ensure that the youth harness the positive aspects of social media while mitigating its challenges, contributing to a generation that is not just digitally savvy but socially conscious and resilient.

For the young generation, one can only pray and our supplication is that God Almighty (Allah) saves everyone’s son, or daughter from any unfortunate accident and guides them to use the internet in the true sense for their education, business, and other positive activities.