The Dangers of Internet Use for Teens

Technology has an affect on children, teens and adults. There is a large number of teens that use the internet daily, approximately 73% of young people use the internet and that percentage continues to increase (Ybarra). That percent is alarming because that is a large portion of teens that can be exposed to the dangers of the internet. One of those dangers is cyber bullying and harassment that can lead to depression.  There are a high amount of teens and preteens that have taken their life because of harassment on social media (McDool), this is because kids are hiding behind screens and choose cyberbullying as a way to express themselves. According to a study by Michele Ybarra MPH at John Hopkins University, there is a clear correlation between negative experiences online and depressive symptomatology. The study showed that there is an increasing percentage of teen from ages 10 to 17 that have high to mild symptoms of depression due to online harassment (Ybarra). This in one effect that technology has and could lead to more dangerous things like kids committing suicide. On the other, hand kids are also learning to network and use social media as an outlet to connect and form relationships (McDool). The internet has become a tool for young people to connect and communicate more (Ybarra). The internet is not all dangerous but in some cases the negatives outweigh the positives of social media use. Social media can affect children’s mental health. “There are concerns that ‘excessive’ time spent on social media is associated with low self-esteem, common mental health problems, and socio-emotional difficulties” (McDool). Social media is having a negative effect on kids at such a young age making life harder for them, therefore resulting in an overall effect on their adult life. Another way it affects mental health is creating depression from perceiving other people’s happiness as higher than their own based off what they see on Facebook (McDool). All of these are negative ways that social media and technology affect children and teens. There are always going to be dangers when it come to the youth using social media but it is up the parents to monitor their children to keep them safe and smart on the internet.

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