Girls Who Lead

Smart Social Media

Overview:

This program aims to help young women navigate through our new modern world of social media responsibly; understanding what is acceptable vs unacceptable. We examine different commonly used social media platforms, as well as the content we are exposed to on a daily basis, and how these platforms impact our overall well beings and sub consciousness.  

Summary:

In this new day and age, technology and social media have become the norm in our society. It is one of our main forms of communication, and is also commonly used for leisure time entertainment, work, and school. Thus, technology and social media continue to progress and affect our daily lives. As social media serves as a useful tool, it can also have damaging effects on its users. Studies have shown that explicit content exposure, cyberbullying, and sexual solicitations evoke symptoms of PTSD in teens. Experts say that young people are growing up with more anxiety and less self esteem. Results of a survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image, and loneliness (McHugh,2018). In addition to this, multiple studies have shown that increased social media use has a significant association with poor sleep quality in young people (Ochs,2020). When analyzing demographics, a study done by The Report revealed that African-American teens are less likely to disclose their real names on their social-media profiles (95 percent of white social-media-using teens do this versus 77 percent of African-American teens) (Smith,2019). It was stated that “A lot of it had to do with image, and what they wanted people to perceive of them in social media”. They also found that white teens are less likely to be social friends with celebrities, athletes or musicians than Blacks. (48 percent of black social-media-using teens report celebrity friends while only 25 percent of white ones do) (Smith,2019). This was attributed to the fact that African-American youth are more connected to pop culture, and made reference to who they emulate i.e.- (Rhianna, Beyoncé). This makes evident how social media influences the way we choose to identify and compare ourselves. 

Objectives:

  • Explore the ways in which we use social media, understanding what is appropriate vs inappropriate when online, safety and privacy, taking note of the content we post and who we trust. 
  • Examine ourselves and the way we identify online, becoming self aware of the comparisons we make, and importance’s we place on body image, beauty, lifestyles, followers, etc.
  • Understand how excessive use of social media and time spent online affects our physical and mental health. 

Ehmke, R. (2021, February 10). How using social media affects teenagers. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://childmind.org/article/how-using-social-media-affects-teenagers/

McHugh, B., Wisniewski, P., Rosson, M., & Carroll, J. (2018, October 02). When social media traumatizes teens: The roles of online risk exposure, coping, and post-traumatic

stress. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IntR-02-2017-0077/full/html

Ochs, J., & Krietz, C. (2020, April 05). The negative effects of social media for teens. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://smartsocial.com/negative-effects-of-social-media/

Smith, M. M. (2019, January 11). Study shows black teens use social media differently than whites. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.diversityinc.com/study-shows-black-teens-use-social-media-differently-than-whites/#:~:text=Study%20Shows%20Black%20Teens%20Use%20Social%20Media%20Differently,engaging%20in%20social-media%20activities%2C%20and%20they%20are%20

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