Teens And Social Media.

April 4, 2016

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Teens and social media. How do they mix? Being a teacher and parent, you can see how teens and social media are connected. 

 As we say – “Are you connected?” or “Are you wired”? What this means is to be connected through Facebook, Twitter, BBM, Instagram, any of the social media outlets.

Being connected is facilitated by the great availability of smartphones and tablets. Many teens have at least one device, but I have seen some teens and adults have more than one device; and use each at the same time. I will be honest that I have a smartphone and tablet, but never use them at the same time.

New reports in 2015, showed that 24% of teens report going online daily. Our mobile devices are very convenient and this gives us the ability to be connected with our friends, family, and colleagues at work. Nearly three quarters of teens now have their device or devices.

As teens get their smartphones, they build their social networks through a variety of methods of communication and sharing at their disposal. Texting is an especially important mode of communication for many teens. On average, 90% of teens say they send and receive – For girls: 80 texts per day / For boys: Around 30 texts per day, but this number is increasing.

Pew Research Center, has reported that teens are using their phones to record and share their daily experiences. In addition to texting, 83% of teens use their phones to take photos, and 64% of teens share their photos with others.

Texting while driving is now the leading cause of death.

Texting while driving is now the leading cause of death among teens – according to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, texting while driving has surpassed drinking and driving.

Disturbing figures from a report by Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

  • More than 3,000 teens die each year in traffic accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • Approximately 2,700 teens are killed in drunk driving accidents.
  • More than 50% of teens admit to texting while driving and many of the same teens have mentioned that texting while driving is dangerous and continue to send and receive text messages.

In addition, Virginia Tech studies show drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident, if they are texting while driving. And while all studies and surveys show that distracted driving is becoming a leading cause of deaths – drivers continue to use their devices while driving. More than 90% of drivers admit to posting on their social media sites while being behind the wheel of their vehicle.

Having the technology (smartphones and tablets) makes life so nice and convenient. When you think about how we are so devoted to our electronic gadgets when it comes to keeping in touch with friends, loved ones and closing that business deal, but the danger associated with misuse or use of the device at inappropriate times is real.

Is reading or posting the picture in Facebook that important? The danger of the danger of textingtexting while driving is three-fold. Stop and think about this; we only have two hands , OK. When operating our vehicle as we have been taught during Drivers Education “Keep both hands on the wheel”. We know this, but we find that in our mind we can control the vehicle with one hand and operate our smartphone with the other. The question I have to ask is this. Where is your attention focused? Assuming for a moment that the shortage of hands on the wheel can be overcome, the more serious dangers come from the eye and the mind. Yes, you may be able to control both (ThDrivers Education “Keep both hands on the wheel”e vehicle and smartphone) but, are you truly able to give 100% full attention to your driving? No.

Here in Indonesia, it is common to see drivers of motorcycles that when they do use their helmets, they have their phone stuck in the helmet by their ear so they can take the phone call and not stop. Their attention is decreased at least 60%.

Let me give you an example.

When traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour(88.514 km), Taking the eye off the road for a mere five seconds to check an incoming text message is the equivalent of driving blind folded across the length of a football field filled with obstacles. The five seconds is literally forever compared to the split second it takes to drive into one of the obstacles at 55 miles per hour.

Isn’t life – yours or someone else’s –  more important than missing one message or business deal at the second?  

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