Social Media Essay

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The Psychological Effects of Social Media Social media is rapidly changing the world, consuming the lives of young adults and instilling in users new values that are unfathomable to the older generations. The prevalence of social networking among teens and young adults is ultimately disturbing the healthy development of identity that once occurred prior to the introduction of such networks. Because the adolescent years are the most critical in building a secure personality and lasting identity, the personal and psychological effects of Facebook are significantly more profound on this age group. The egocentric means of defining oneself that are encouraged by the online world today are contributing to a heavily narcissistic approach to establishing identity. In addition, the privacy and lack of face-to-face communication that Facebook allows are promoting the creation of an online façade in addition to a person’s true identity. The problem in this arises when a user’s online traits become confused with his or her real qualities, creating an amalgam of features that may not be genuine to the user’s character. Thus, social media is deteriorating young network users’ formation of and confidence in identity, inhibiting healthy mental development. Facebook has become a worldwide epidemic. Its global popularity has ascended steeply over the past few years, resulting in a greater diversity among its users. Although it is important to consider the variety of civilizations that Facebook has reached, there is another factor that Facebook’s rise in popularity has affected – the age of its users. Facebook began as a network targeted at college students. A university email was required for membership. However, as Facebook expanded, it tore down its age barriers and became accessible to virtually everyone. Although the terms and conditions state that users must be of at least

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