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The impact of social networks on the identity of adolescents

The negative impact of social networks on the identity of adolescents
The negative impact of social networks on the identity of adolescents

Social networks influence the daily life of young people. Everyone uses Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Snapchat on a daily basis, but this has consequences on the personal identity of young adults. Faced with the expectations of these networks, young people expose their private lives to their followers in an attempt to get the most views, likes, and comments. Low self-esteem, individualism or addition to technology has become frequent results of the impact of social networks on teens.

A rise in individualism

With social networking, teenagers are less and less social. The Internet threatens social cohesion because it has changed people’s behavior by making them more and more autonomous. Teenagers make choices according to their own desires and no longer for the good of society. They want to impose their own rules and live according to their own ideas.

This rise in individualism weakens social ties since the individual no longer feels a sense of belonging to social groups. Young people find it difficult to communicate face to face, they prefer to talk through their smartphones.

Young people addicted to their smartphones

Young people are more vulnerable to being dependent on the internet. This digital generation must use the internet to have social contact. This is a time of life when social contact is crucial for self-esteem and identification. As in the case of addiction to games, for example, the body also releases endorphins, creating a sensation similar to when we hear the ringing of a notification, or when our publications are positively approved by likes…

This addiction has psychological consequences on our behaviour. Our ability to concentrate has dropped by 8 seconds (less than that of a goldfish). We have learned to judge ourselves by the external image we project. Everyone has the same dreams, the same aspirations shaped by social networks.

Being perpetually in comparison, the main impact of social networks

Generation Z has an irresistible need for social validation. This has always been a fundamental human need, but it has been amplified with the advent of social networks. Instagram has therefore become the ultimate social approval tool. It allows you to know in a few seconds what you are worth, thus fulfilling your need for social validity. Instagram, therefore, amplifies the phenomenon of social comparison, which pushes individuals to compare what they see on social networks to their own lives. This phenomenon is especially strong with influencers. This phenomenon can lead to suffering, reduced self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness. The most striking example is the physical comparison of young girls with stars, models, and influencers who mostly retouch their photos. Teenagers want to look like celebrities. They buy products only because a public figure has worn them. But this raises questions about their identities… Are young people really themselves?  Or are teenagers just what society wants them to be?  Indeed, a person who does not have the same interests as another person can be devalued and marginalised.

The dramatic consequences of a virtual world

Depression and suicide are consequences of social networking among adolescents. When teenagers regularly use social networks, they are likely to have a negative body image. Many young people have low self-esteem as they compare themselves with other people, especially influencers. These people isolate themselves and fall into depression as they do not feel they can cope.

Cyberstalking is also a negative consequence of social networking for young adults. Indeed, many people receive hate and insulting messages on digital platforms, which pushes some people to devalue themselves.

Between narcissism and harassment, young adults face anxiety, depression, and suicide. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are thus disrupting the mental health of consumers. Given that, it continues to be necessary to study the impact of social networks on teens and the creation of initiatives that allow young people to be aware of them.

Acerca del autor

Mariché Navío Navarro

Mariché Navío trabaja en diferentes proyectos del sector de la comunicación online y el marketing digital, compaginando su labor docente e investigadora con la profesional. Sus principales áreas de especialización e interés están relacionadas con la comunicación digital, la innovación docente en la educación superior, el emprendimiento y la aplicación de la neurociencia cognitiva en marketing, aprendizaje y mindfulness.

Es Doctora por la Universidad CEU San Pablo, Máster en Marketing Interactivo & New Media (IEBS), Posgrado en Big Data Marketing (IEBS) y Licenciada en Periodismo (USPCEU) y en Comunicación Audiovisual (USPCEU), además de Título Propio en Nuevas Tecnologías (USPCEU) y en Liderazgo, Gestión de Equipos y Teletrabajo (UNIR). Actualmente, se especializa en neurociencia cognitiva y en la investigación en neuromarketing a través de diferentes formaciones, entre las que se encuentran el Máster Universitario en Neuromarketing (UNIR) o el programa de Neurociencia Cognitiva (NiraKara).

Como docente, imparte asignaturas sobre comunicación en redes sociales y marketing y publicidad online en el Grado de Comunicación Digital de la Universidad CEU San Pablo. Además, es profesora consultora en la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, para el Máster Universitario en Marketing Digital, donde imparte la asignatura de SEO y dirige Trabajos Final de Máster (TFM). Imparte docencia en otros másteres de la USPCEU como el Máster Universitario en Trade Marketing y Comercio Electrónico o Máster Universitario en Relaciones Públicas y Organización de Eventos.

Como profesional, ha trabajado como Content Manager y Responsable de Comunicación en distitnas empresas y fundado y dirigido startups y proyectos de emprendimiento como Dygeat, Communitools o Funadtics.

Desde el punto de vista formativo, ha llevado a cabo diversas especializaciones universitarias y programas superiores, entre los que podemos encontrar el Curso Universitario de Especialización en Instructor de Meditación y Mindfulness (Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes), el Programa Superior de Facebook Ads y Social Ads (AdveiSchool) y el Programa Superior de Google Ads (AdveiSchool), entre otros programas vinculados al emprendimiento y el marketing,

En la actualidad, Mariché es Vocal en la Junta Directiva de la Asociación Española de Periodismo e Información Tecnológica (AEPITEC), miembro de la Sociedad Española de Periodística (SEP) y miembro de la Neuromarketing Science & Business Association (NMSBA).

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