In order to build a strong argument in an essay, it can often be helpful to approach the subject from a variety of different angles. I have laid out a list of points that look at the benefits of Facebook from multiple perspectives.
1. Developmental psychology perspective
- There are numerous psychological studies out there that examine the benefits of social interactions during adolescence. Teens are at a relatively fragile point in their development in which there are many interpersonal and external emotional conflicts to overcome, as well as significant physical and environmental changes to adjust to. Positive social relationships help teens cope with the stress of adolescence and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Being a member of a social group has also been shown to have positive effects on self-esteem. Facebook provides teens with an outlet for peer-to-peer communication, which helps them build those social relationships that are so good for their development. It connects them not only with friends and family who they see on a regular basis, but also allows them to remain in contact with those who may not live close by. Of course, social media is not replacement for face-to-face interactions, but Facebook's events feature makes it easy for them to coordinate in-person social events.
2. Identity formation perspective
- In keeping with the psychological theme from above, teens are also in a stage of their life where they are making big strides in forming their own personal identities. Facebook gives teens an avenue for self-expression and self-discovery.
3. Accessibility of information perspective
- Facebook's newsfeed feature also gives teens a great opportunity to be exposed to new information. Users can like pages related to their interests, and information in the form of articles, videos, and images from those interest-related pages, as well as from their friends and family, automatically appears on their newsfeed. On any given day, a teen is given access to information and current-event updates in the fields of art, science, engineering, cooking, sports, and politics - simply by logging into their Facebook account.
4. Career readiness skills perspective
- Finally, by using and exploring the ins-and-outs of social media at a young age, teens are training themselves in skills that may be very important in their future careers. As our society becomes more and more tech-savy, companies are relying more and more on social media for many aspects of their businesses. Young adults who are entering the workforce having used social media, such as Facebook, since they were young teenagers already have years of experience in something that many companies are looking for - and this puts them at an advantage. For this reason, teens should use social media regularly, and stay up to date on how it works, in order to better prepare themselves for potential future careers.
Facebook can be a great tool for teens. When I write an essay, I always make a list of my reasonings to back up my argument. Not only is a list much easier to read, but it can also function as a checklist.
The benefits of Facebook for teens include:
- Connecting with friends and family from all over the world
- Encouraging social interaction among peers
- Facebook's group chat function provides a wonderful tool for teens to be able to communicate with each other to work on group projects, ask for homework help, make plans, or to discuss personal matters together as a group
- The latest news reports
- The ability to express feelings and emotions to an audience and receiving support and feedback in return
- Entertainment from videos, games, and pictures
- Notifications about local events being held
- An alternative form of communication when a cell phone is not available
A strong essay should also include a counter-argument, where you state a possible opposing view. You will then use the reasonings listed above to argue against the counter-argument. For example, you may say "Many believe that Facebook is harmful for teens, as it tends to make them more isolated from their loved ones" as your counter-argument. You can then continue to say something like: "Although, Facebook can actually be more socially beneficial to teens rather than harmful." After this, you can go on to state the points that have been listed above.
To make your essay even stronger, you may include factual evidence, such as statistics of teens being more social as a result of Facebook usage, and make sure to cite your sources (preferably scholarly sources).
You might start with a paragraph on the causes of isolation for modern teenagers. Many households have dual-income earners; thus, adolescents have less time with parents, and the time they have is less leisurely. The modern economy also means less resources for adolescents, with a lack of available jobs and academic opportunities. Also, modern technology such as the phone, tablets, and computers make Facebook very accessible.
Then tie all of these causes of isolation for the modern adolescent into the need for a web application like Facebook. Here you can start by talking about how it solves the problem of modern isolation. Then lead into other problems it solves, such as a need for connection, self-expression, understanding, affirmation, and strengthening of community and familial bonds. It also gives adolescents a way to create their own story from their point of view, leading to greater independence, and a stronger formation of their own identity and goals for the future.
The first step in planning your essay is to plan your outline. The length of your essay will depend on how many points regarding the positive effects of Facebook for teens you will be discussing. Ideally, you should set aside one paragraph to discuss each point.
With the increasing reliance on social media, Facebook has become an integral part of the new age of millennials. Although, many may believe Facebook may have negative effects on a teenager's mind and outlook, there are many overlooked positive aspects of Facebook. First, and most obvious, is that Facebook provides a platform of social connectivity to family, friends, distant relatives from all parts of the world, right at your fingertips. Facebook also provides an avenue for shy or introverted teenagers to express themselves, without the worry of speaking out in a social situation. Finally, Facebook is also used for news delivery and can help teenagers be aware of current events and breaking news around the world.
These are just a few of the positive effects of Facebook on teenagers. Facebook is changing the way we interact with each other, and as younger generations continue to use Facebook, it is in our best interest to understand the potential of positive influence Facebook can provide.