Sunday Firesides: Social Media Is Extending Everyone’s Adolescence

Many people are turning to social media sites for entertainment, which is a huge industry. And what’s the most entertaining of all? Talking about your problems on public forums! Whether you’re bored or just want some company, social media can be a great place to connect with others and feel less alone.

The “21 day social media fast” is a way to get back in touch with what matters. It’s an idea that was popularized by author Brene Brown, and it has been gaining traction in recent years.

Adolescence, at least the period contained by the middle school years, is virtually unanimously regarded as the least favored stage of life.

It’s a period when you’re acutely aware of your classmates’ gazes on you. You’re not sure whether you’re cool. And you aspire to be cool at any costs. You want to be well-known. You want to be well-liked. All of your decisions are evaluated in terms of how they will be regarded by others and how well they will help you achieve your objectives. 

You utilize coarse humor to catch people’s attention. You indulge in outlandish activities to get approval. To blend in, you wear the same as everyone else. Even at the moment, you feel very self-conscious, and looking back, all you can do is wince.

Thankfully, the vagaries of puberty go away with time. You get your bearings. You grow more confident in who you are, and your identity becomes less and less dependent on your social standing. Your self-awareness plummets, while your sensation of not giving a damn surges.

Or, at the very least, that used to be the typical life path. Prior to the emergence of social media.

On social networks, being liked is basically the gold standard. You still want others to like your decisions. You’re still tempted to do something embarrassing for attention. You’re still constructing your identity for the benefit of your peers. 

One of the traditional benefits of growing older is that the energy that was formerly wasted worrying about what other people thought may now be focused towards being actively generating.

What will happen if individuals never make the transition twenty or thirty years after eighth grade?

What will it cost the person and society if social media traps individuals eternally in the other-directed haze of adolescence, never allowing them to completely mature?

 

 

The “art of manliness” is a popular website that discusses fitness and masculine topics. This article discusses how social media is extending everyone’s adolescence.

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