A lot has been discussed about the impact of social networking sites on the youth, which has mostly been a mixed observation. While a part of it may hold good to be true, one cannot turn a blind eye to the positive impact of social networking sites on the youngsters of this generation (GenY), either.
It is a known fact that social networking sites form the basis of communication these days. Here is how they benefit the youth…
On The Personal Front
Friends: Making friends has never been easier for GenY. Many teens go through the awkward phase of growing up, where they combat sudden periods of shyness, fear, anxiety, worry and guilt. Their self esteem and self confidence takes a dip. Going out and meeting new people and possibly making new friends, seems like a distant reality to them. Sometimes, being yourself with people you have known since many years also seems impossible, due to the fear of one on one reactions and rejections.
Empathy : Social media networking has made it possible to interact with people easily and have a wide circle of friends. While these friends may not be by your side in times of distress, they are just a ping away. These friends stand by you in times of stress and make for a sound support system. With the rise of smart phones this concept of networking has got a boost and one can remain in contact with his/her friends 24/7, 365 days. Now, these are the people who become your virtual family, as the bond deepens. Some of them become your 2 AM friends, who comfort you in times of extreme distress, without thinking for a second.
Social networking sites have made it possible for you to share your feelings and experience without feeling awkward, due to the convenience of being able to choose between video calls, audio chats and text chats. The comfort levels and ease of communication is reported to be high in this form of communication. One tends to connect with people who would have undergone similar experiences, and form a support group. Inspiration and courage is fostered in the long run.
Overcoming Distance in Fostering Relationships : Social networking sites open up the world before you, making it possible to communicate with people living in far off locations as well. The ease, with which we can communicate over a video call, has made the world a smaller place. Sunday morning finds our family huddled in front of our computer, over a group Skype call with our entire family, living in different countries. School friends, with whom you have not interacted since ages, can be located on Facebook and contacts get renewed. It is such a good feeling to relive precious memories.
Building Relationships : While a lot has been speculated about whirlwind romances and impulsive breakups on social networking sites, there have been positive instances as well. A few fortunate people have got back in touch with their former friends and rekindled relationships, while some others have found their true love. It has become easier to interact with people these days.
Connecting you with likeminded people: Social networking sites can help you find people you share similar interests with. Facebook and Twitter, give you suggestions about people and groups having similar interests as you. This is actually quite helpful in the long run as many have joined together and formed organizations.
In the Academic Field
Many schools are opting to hold discussions about the day’s lessons on whatsApp. The Teachers of Delhi Public School NCHRM have created WhatsApp groups for clearing doubts in academics. This makes it easier for the students to connect with their teachers at the specified times and learn after the school hours. They also impart learning via Skype on holidays. All this has led to better performance with good results in the school.
There are positive and negative sides to most things in life. What is important is to grab the positives and make it work for you. When used with care and caution, social networking sites are nothing less than a boon.