Monday, 9 June 2014

Mentoring Teens - The Positive and Negative Effects of the Social Media

It's humbling to mentor teens. I was made a guest judge in my church a few Sundays ago, and it was nice watching young champs participate in a debate which was centred on the positive and negative effects of the social media.

Since becoming self-determined is a life-long process, you can be a co-learner as you help young people develop self-determination skills. I must say, these teenagers taught me alot too.

Briefly, I and my co-judge robbed minds and got acquainted. It wasn't rocket science before I could tell he was a medical practitioner due to some of the terminologies he used during our conversation. I found some of his contributions related to the topic of the day very enlightening.

Does the negative effect of the social media outweigh the benefits? Well, it was the duty of the speakers to answer that question by sharing as many reasonable points as possible. My kid sister, Ijeoma Ibegbunam, was a chief speaker in her team and she opposed the notion that 'Social media does more harm than good in the life of teenagers.' 'It has helped teenagers to be computer literates; helping them to adapt and learn fast.' - That was one of the points she raised, and I couldn't agree more. Totally right!

However, the negative effects of the social media arise when such online platform is abused. You will agree with me that the most common demerit is the inevitable access to pornographic materials. And the multiplier effect of this include masturbation, absent mindedness in class, depression, premarital sex and so on. Parental control is therefore advised for this to be curbed. Parents should endeavor to monitor their children whenever they are using the internet so long as the kids aren't 18 yet.

I later had a group discussion with these promising teenagers before the debate commenced. I made them realize that the topic of discussion was key to their well-being and morals as children of God. It wasn't about which team won, but about the lessons they learnt in the course of the program. I am pleading to every teenager out there to embrace the numerous benefits of the social media by engaging in positive and life-changing activities online. We the youths are the leaders of today, don't wait for tomorrow. Ideas rule the world. Shalom.

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