Social media is beneficial to teens

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Social media is one of the best tools available to teens in today’s society. I won’t deny all tools can be used in the wrong way but it would be hard to function in today’s world as a teen without being exposed to some type of social media. One could go as far to say that texting and snapchat would be considered using social media. Living in a society without social media would be similar to try to build a house without a hammer. Like social media, a hammer can bash someone’s head in, but it can also build an orphanage.

We use social media to communicate with our friends and family. We use it to express our own beliefs, and we should be allowed to even if some of our Facebook friends find it offensive. Social media, today, represents the pinnacle of our first amendment rights. No one has the right to infringe on our freedom of speech or expression. And, the best part, if I have a problem with one of my ‘friends’ I can simply block them, a luxury I’m not afforded in the real world.

Even more importantly, social media has been used globally to spread democracy and encourage freedom of speech in countries such as China and the Middle East. The idea that people can go onto social media and say whatever they want, even if its against their own county, is an everyday occurrence in the United States, but in countries like China these acts are illegal. The minute we try to infringe on the freedom of speech we take another step towards the oppressiveness that the Chinese government imposes on its citizens. Teens need to be able to use social media in the United States in order to freely express their opinions and become more involved in their community. Many teens complain about not having anything to do in Sheridan, but through social media, teens can create change within their community unlike individuals in other countries.

The CDC in 2010 reported that over 38,000 people committed suicide making it the fith leading cause of of death in the United States. Dr. Alex Likerman points out that one of the main reasons why people commit suicide is to show people that that was their last option on dealing with their problems. Likerman goes on to say that if they had had close friends to confide in suicide might not have felt necessary. He points out that teens, especially, use suicide as a way to reach out to people because they don’t know how to effectivly comunicate their problems to their peer. Social media provides a way to for teens to contact their peers and talk about their problems. There are also several pages and social media sites dedicated to helping kids overcome suicidal thoughts.

I believe that people are inherently good, that Americans truly care about their fellow human beings. I agree with Steve Jobs that if we give individuals the tools of social media that they will use them to create a better world. Looking closely at Facebook, people can see that using social media to better society is already happening. There are pages upon pages on Facebook that are dedicated to lifting people up, to spreading positive ideals, to making people laugh. Social media is simply a tool that we should learn how to use rather than ban.