• Blandina Malinzi

Implication of Social Media on Tanzanian Adolescents

Many Tanzanians have a social media presence on one of the social media networking sites; some become so addicted to it that they can’t live without it. Social media sites are the quickest way to connect and keep contact with family and friends, however like every good thing, it has its flip-side as well.

(Image courtesy of pixabay)

Social media, to most adolescents is a platform for them to explore their identity, find themselves, explore their interests, share personal stories and get support and feedback to develop a better understanding of themselves. It is also an inspiration to these young people to make changes in their own lives.

Some adolescents with social and emotional issues feel more included with social media feel more included with social media and online activities. Being involved in social media typically improves communication skills, social connections, and technical skills.

We must acknowledge the fact that adolescents are extremely vulnerable from the ages 13 upwards to certain growth and development aspects of life following long exposure to social media. Therefore, the effects that social media usage has on these children should be well known to each and every individual adult.

(Image courtesy of google images)

Adolescences in Tanzania have been victims of cyber bullying through emails, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites, texting, social media pages from Facebook, Instragram, Twitter, etc. Cyber bullying can lead to psychological problems like depression; isolation, loneliness; stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and in some instance suicide.

The more time adolescents spend on social media, the more they get exposed to new stories and ideas that they would want to explore some of which are either positive or negative. This habit can turn into uncontrollable addiction that can lead to repercussions.

(Image courtesy of google images)

Social media can significantly influence body image concerns in female adolescents which can lead to self-esteem issues where some have received negative comments regarding their bodies. They may hold themselves to unrealistic standards for their bodies because of the prevalence of digital media alteration and pressure.

Parents need to pay more attention to their children’s social media activities. Moving forward they should establish good communication with their children. Set ground rules on the usage of social media. Most importantly, monitor their apps for social media on your children’s device this will help them in the long run.

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