Modern technologies are gradually changing the ways in which people interact with members of their social networks. The youth of today are immersed in technological advancements that promote non-stop communication and instant gratification, whether through smartphones, gaming systems, laptops, etc. Since millennials are affected by the rapid expansion of technology, let us see in what way they are being positively influenced.
1. Technology encourages communication and socialisation
This may sound obvious but using technology in the form of social media to network does improve communication, it may be a non traditional form of communication but it is one that is on the rise. Using social media also offers the opportunity to build and/or improve digital skills. For example, using coding as a subject at both primary and secondary level can bring digital skills to a whole new level, as many daily tasks now involve being online. Thus, digital skills at every level is something needed now and in the future.
2. Using social media can also help to build and maintain a sense of community
Teens in particular can often feel that the world doesn’t understand them, that adults can’t understand where they are coming from. Communicating with their peers via social media can be a positive experience for teenagers; it can help them to negotiate the experiences that life throws at them and seek advice from others around their own age who have had similar experiences. There are a growing number of websites with large social media followings that offer great advice and/or support to teens in relation to mental health. These can offer relief for youth and adults undergoing such circumstances.
3. Using technology to actively help the world
Mobile apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are usually used by the youth as a way to give voice to the voiceless. They can do this through starting awareness pages for minority groups, or advocating equal rights through posting or sharing supportive messages. Social media is a great platform upon which teenagers can begin to champion their own rights, and the rights of others. Not only does this encourage teenagers to connect with others from different cultural, lingual, religious, and ethnic backgrounds; it also broadens their scope of reference and teaches them tolerance.
In many cases it is clear that social media have become not only part of people’s lives but the things their lives revolve around. We see people checking smartphones every two minutes, looking for the latest tweet or status update. It’s important to remember though that technology cannot replace real life scenarios, which can also bring much happiness and learning to youth around the world.6