Social Media usage from teens through the eyes of Kate Winslet


Kate Winslet is starring in the new movie dedicated to Steve Jobs as the marketing executive Joanna Hoffman. Recently she made a statement for the Sunday Times encouraging parents to take the mobile devices out of the hands of their kids. She further shares concerns regarding the usage of social media, which according to her has too big of effect on the girls’ self-esteem. She claims: “Because all they ever do is design themselves for people to like them. And what comes along with that? Eating disorders,” and furthermore: “We don’t have any social media in our house.” (CNET, 2015).

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Such statements place a great importance on the social media usage of young teens and the potential effects for them from following their peers, idols and imitating them in a way online. According to a survey published in 2012 (Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 2012) fully 95% of all teens aged 12-17 are now online, 81,8% of which use some kind of social media and the figures keep on growing. It is inevitable for us to connect in some way online but is it right to start this interaction for kids at the age of 12 or 13 when they should be playing outside happily, outperforming each other in monopoly rather than sending an invitation to their friends for a game on Facebook?

References

CNET, (2015). Kate Winslet says parents losing control of kids to social media – CNET. [online] Available at: http://www.cnet.com/news/kate-winslet-says-parents-losing-control-of-kids-to-social-media/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2015].

Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, (2012). Teens Fact Sheet. [online] Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teens-fact-sheet/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2015].

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4 thoughts on “Social Media usage from teens through the eyes of Kate Winslet

  1. The increased use of social media by teenagers is inevitable as these platforms continue to gain in popularity. Although Kate Winslet has a valid concern, I think it can be argued that social media also has several benefits for teenagers. It is easier to socialize with their friends, make plans for after school activities, discuss homework and generally communicate with their peers. It is important though that they do not get obsessed with their social media profile so a limited use should be recommended. I think parents should take a key role in limiting the amount of time spent online by their children. The fact that 81.8% of teens interacted on social media in 2012 is impressive and the number is probably closer to 90-100 by now. Personally, I believe that 12 -13 years old is perhaps too young of an age for teenagers to engage in social media as they can encounter problems such as the ones Kate Winslet mentioned. It would be better if these young teenagers waited a few years before interacting on social media but unfortunately due to the massive popularity it seems like this will not occur. In fact, it is probably getting to the point where children are pressured to join social media websites as the vast majority of their peers are already on.

  2. I agree with Claudio, that social media can have positive effects at that age as well. However, I disagree with Kate Winslet’s statement that social media can cause eating disorders. It might be true that teenagers can be “too” inspired by people they see on social media, but I really don’t think it goes that far by causing eat disorders. After all, certain gene mutations can increase the risk of getting an eating disorder. I would argue for a more scientific cause, rather than blaming it on social media.

  3. Schools these days have also become technologically savvy in terms of using various social media platforms to put across news, posts, blogs, pictures etc. They also encourage teenage students to use social media platforms for their coursework. Since everything is becoming more technologically driven, teenagers are forced to keep up with this change.
    Social media can have a positive and negative effect. Parents should guide and prevent kids from falling trap into the negatives of social media instead of taking the devices away from them. A amount of information and knowledge present on social media platforms is large, from which kids could learn a lot from.However, taking the posts on social media too seriously does lead to insecurity and self-esteem issues, hence, kids must be taught about these consequences at an early age.
    Hence, I believe kids must be well educated on these pros and cons of social media, rather completely forbidding them to use it.

  4. Social media has definitely had an impact on today’s society and I believe it will continue as the years go by. Kate Winslet makes note of the fact that it is changing the way children behave, but I don’t think it is for the reasons she says. To say that social media is causing body image concerns amongst young girls these days is incorrect. I think it is more likely the result of internal issues going on within an individual and social media is being used as an easy cop-out instead of the individual taking the blame for themselves, or perhaps determining a genetic cause. Social media has many benefits and its main purpose is to connect people to one another. However, I do think it is getting out of hand considering how many young people are using it and how much time they spend on Facebook or Instagram. I think this addiction to social media stems from society’s growing dependence on technology in general. Nowadays some schools insist on solely using computers for writing assignments and in-class work. Smart boards are being used instead of the traditional white boards and black boards. Students are told to look for literature online rather than going to the library. Although all of this is convenient, if those responsible for nurturing and teaching the younger generation stop depending on technology themselves it will drag kids away from the source that social media depends on, even if it is only eight hours in a day at school. Today it might seem antiquated, but if teachers insist on students hand writing their essays, give their lessons on a blackboard, and insist on them finding literature from the library. There is the possibility that it could help youngsters realize that there is more to do in the world when they are not stuck on Facebook.

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