Online Teen Friendships. Are They Real?

Nowadays, social media have thoroughly invaded and been intergraded into lives of most teenagers. Undoubtedly, social networking is a very popular way of extending someone’s social connection.

Apart from making new friends, teens keep in touch with their existing ones. So, teens actually do spend time with their friends but their interaction takes place on social media.

What is impressing here is the fact that teenagers report that they feel better connected to their friends via social media, because they are offered direct access to their friends’ lives. A research carried out by Pew Research center that especially black and Hispanic youth are those who claim to feel a lot better connected to their friends’ feelings through social media.

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Access to friends has been made even easier though smartphones, so that teens keep up with the latest news from their friends’ lives simply by checking the last posts and photos uploading. What is revealed to them is where they have been, who they hung out with and how they felt and all these without seeing them in person.

Except for people they actually know in real life teen add to their friends also people who have sent them a friend request without having met them. This can be extremely dangerous due to the fact that so many adults have got fake profiles because they try to hide who they are really are behind them. Many are the cases when teen agreed to meet in person a “friend” who appeared to be a peer and turned out to be a psychologically disturbed grown up person. Unfortunately, not all teens managed to escape the trap.

Another negative aspect connected to friendships created on the internet is that they are not real. Only if you have got to know someone in person and his real identity and personality is revealed, you can be sure you can rely on them for help with any issue. Teenagers can even feel excluded if they do not have at least one social media profile where they present themselves in a way that does not respond to the reality. That is what all do: post whatever will make them, look like they leading a great life!

– By Giota Gkika

Stay tuned…

References

Lenhart, A. (2015, August 6). http://www.pewinternet.org. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/06/chapter-4-social-media-and-friendships/

Ramasubbu, S. (2015, May 26). huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/influence-of-social-media-on-teenagers_b_7427740.html

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