A real question: does social media make being a teen easier or harder?


 A question for the universe: does social media make being a teen easier or harder?

I’m guessing this is one of those questions that tends to have “yes and no” as its most honest answer.

Here’s how I figure it.

The good thing about social media is that, for teens like me who grew up in rural areas, there’s the possibility of accessing a broader world and encountering folks with broader worldviews a little bit sooner. (Hey, maybe fewer teens will have to drop out of high school like I did just to get away…) Not just rural teens, but for anyone feeling marooned socially. From this point of view, the Internet offers access to a lot of connections that can affirm the basic “It Gets Better,” high-school-isn’t-everything message (especially important for LGBT teens).

But I wonder if social media doesn’t make all the drama of high school that much more inescapable? Does it open up new avenues for persecution and damage? This is the part I really don’t know about first hand since I did not come of age under the rule of Myspace, Facebook, and company.

So, universe, what do you say? If we toss the pros and cons on the scale, how do today’s teens come out in terms of the blessing/burden of social media?


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