Young teen shares the crucial role social media is playing in his life while experiencing the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on his daily life.
So far this month social media has brought me a huge benefit. It has helped me connect with others, learn new things and more. Given Covid restrictions and with many of my friends currently in other schools, it can be hard to try to keep in contact with everyone and meet up due to busy lives. However, apps like Houseparty and Snapchat have helped me connect with friends that I otherwise couldn’t keep up with. Mostly everyone my age is on social media which makes it easy to keep in contact.
Connecting with friends is even more important at the moment given how Covid is restricting everyone’s lives. For example, during half term normally we would all be out and about, visiting each other, getting together in groups. None of this is possible but at least we can have some form of social life via social media. Without social media, I think many teenagers would be feeling extremely lonely in this time of covid restrictions. In lockdown earlier this year, stuck at home for weeks on end I certainly would have struggled without it. I used to chat with my friends via Houseparty etc. late into the night and at least have some fun with them that way.
The second positive point for me is that Apps like Instagram and TikTok are useful for following up on sports news and results in areas like football, tennis or any other sports one may want to follow. Every time I go onto social media there will always be results or news that as a huge sports fan I find interesting.
It can also keep you updated with general world news which I also think helps given how important it is to know about current affairs.
Numerous of these social media apps are also helpful to find out new information about certain topics which would aid your general knowledge or help with homework and research projects.
The final positive point is certain Apps like TikTok allow me to share experiences with my brother and sister. They are younger than me but it is an App we all use so gives us something in common to chat about and laugh over.
Moving now onto the more negative sides of social media that I may have experienced in the past month.
Before I go onto this, let me briefly dive into the stereotypical image that some people of the older generation may have about social media, for instance, that social media is a bad or possibly dangerous place. I disagree with this view as to date I have never had any serious negative experiences from it such as cyberbullying or anything else. Also, I think the younger generation is well aware of the risks, we are all taught to look out for them and how to deal with them and there are many helpful resources if you need help (such as Internet Matters!). Of course, it can still happen but I feel it isn’t as common as people may put it out to be.
I would say the only negativities so far that I’ve experienced in the past month would be when the team I support loses in football. My mates will most likely text me saying how bad my team is.
Overall looking at the two sides of social media and the current circumstances of the COVID world, I think social media has been extremely positive for me and people my age. Especially as it helps to connect when you cannot meet friends in person.
See articles and resources to help children stay safe online.