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Causes and Effects of the Increase in Social Media Use (Essay Sample)


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Title: The average teenager spends more time on social media than asleep. (GWI,2016) Explain the causes of the increase in social media use, and the effects on the individual. Are the effects largely positive or negative?


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Causes and Effects of the Increase in Social Media Use
Social media refers to applications and websites supported by operating systems such as android, windows and iOS that allows users to sign up communicate or engage in social networking by sharing messages, videos, audios and other forms of files through internet access. The most popular social media networking platforms include twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The introduction of these sites have increased pressure on teenagers as you could see them with headphones and busy texting through WhatsApp and surfing across Facebook and Twitter up to late in the night.. In some ways, social media has come with some benefits such as impacting our social culture, encourage exchange of ideas, guidance, advices, connection and school work tasks for teenagers and adults. However, the current generation is electronically addicted and as a result, many teenagers have been affected negatively in terms of mental addictions, suicidal actions and depressions. Therefore, there has been an increase in social media use because of the frequent inventions of internet enabled gadgets, improved internet connectivity, advancement of social media sites, which have brought both negative and positive effects to users.
Causes of the Increase in Social Media Use
The continuous inventions of the internet enabling gadgets has increased the numbers of users who can now access the internet. Many technological companies such as Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Inc. are coming up with modern devices such as smartphones, live event cameras, VR headsets, wearable cameras, and other physical objects such as E-tip gloves and tweet coffee mugs (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). The increased manufacturing of smartphones and their affordability in the market has seen almost every teenager owning at least a smartphone or an IPod especially in the developed countries. The study by Common Sense Media revealed that in the U.S., 76 % of girls and 84% boys between the age of 13 and 18 spend 1-2 hours use a computer, a smartphone or a tablet after school and up to 8 hours on the weekends to access either Facebook or Instagram (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Thus, easy availability of social media devices have increased the rate of social media use among the teenagers across the world.
Another leading factor is the improved and affordable internet connectivity, which has ease the process of connecting into the social medial platforms. According to the available info-graphics, the internet coverage has expanded from boasting 669 million users as at 2006 to over 2.27 billion users including teenagers by 2016 (Chen, 2017). Also, there has been notable increase in the time spent by users online from an average of 1 hour to 6 hours a day in 2006 and 2016 respectively. Additionally, there has been WI-FI and IoT connectivity where they are installed to provide users with readily available internet connectivity everywhere they go (Chen, 2017). For this reason, children have found it easy to connect to the social media platform as the internet spots are affordable and readily available in places such as malls, schools, homes and hotels.
Lastly, the advancement of social media platforms has contributed in luring many users especially the teenagers who connect with strangers around the world. When social network platform improve its features to become user friendly and adaptable, many users will be attracted to sign up and be part of it (Jacob, 20

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