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Romario Cordova
English 113A
Professor Lewis
11 December 2015
Instagram and Social Media in Teenage Society
The frequent Apps used by teenagers nowadays are Twitter, and Snapchat. But, there is
one app in specific that Ive seen that has changed how we communicate with one another the
most. Instagram is the new social media app that has influenced many teenagers on how they
communicate with each other. It is easier to access this app because technology and affordable
prices of smartphones have made it faster to obtain this among teenagers. Instagram began in
October, 2010 and is still currently being used by teens. The app has many functions and you can
interact with anyone around the world. Being a user myself provides me with sending free
messages, posting pictures, and also encountering videos from cyberbullies by simply following
the person. Although this may facilitate many teens by communicating long distances with
family and friends, it also has a vast affect on teens whom are being bullied online and suffering
from depression. Therefore, Instagram is affecting the way teens are interacting with each other
by using the app instead of face-to-face encounters and social skills. Increased use of the app
leads to more instances of cyberbullying and less social skills.
We tend to always have our smartphones with us any where we go, what does this really
mean? It means that is easy access to our emails and other social media apps in just seconds.
Teenagers have the Instagram app downloaded in their phones, wherever you go you can
message a friend or snap a picture. This increases the risk of becoming bullied online when using

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the app. A research in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health has seen a rise of
cyberbullying.
The relative anonymity of Internet users may be a factor in the rise of
cyberbullying, which has been blamed for suicides and mental health problems.
The victim, targeted through mobile phone or computer use, may feel
simultaneously isolated and exposed to widespread ridicule. Bullying in schools is
long standing and pernicious, but the use of social media adds a whole new
dimension. (Isaacs)
What this is trying to tell us is that the fact that we are more exposed to these social media app,
the more risk takers we are to committing suicides and having mental health problems. If we are
bullied online by a person that we follow on Instagram and know from school, the bully himself
or herself might use it to post mean things about the teenager. This may cause the teen that is
being bullied to hurt themselves. Some teens can just be the bully themselves by using the app
and triggering others, by saying this you dont have a guarantee that you will be safe from being
cyberbullied. Besides having bullys in schools, technology itself has made it faster and easier for
the offenders to act teens. This one way we can see that social media has affected the practice of
face-to-face communication.
Instagram has made many changes in the app ever since they began back in 2010. It has
introduced a new method to send messages to people called, Direct Message. This makes it
quicker for teens to communicate with one another without letting other people see what they are
saying. In the Instagram website I found a blog in which they wrote the features the new update
would have and this is what they had to say:

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Todays updates also bring a brand new way to start conversations around what
you see on Instagram. When you find something inspiring or funny, your first
instinct is often to share it with friends who you know will appreciate it. Today,
people do this by @-mentioning friends in comments, so much so that nearly 40%
of comments include an @-mention. This update has made it easier to share
content that you love. (Instagram Blog)
The blog simply is saying that they are so happy they have accomplished to have many people
around the world use their social media app and want to reward them by doing an update. But if
we break it down in terms how they are affecting us by doing this, it is simply how they are
making it easier for teens to approach other teens in a faster way. Not only is it more efficient but
it is also easier for a cyberbully to have a faster gateway to his or her victim online. They now
have the ability to do it behind closed doors because the negative comments can be discreet from
the public eyes and just be seen from the victim. The teen users wouldnt even have the chance to
help the victim because they dont even know what would be happening if they cant see. Do we
really want our communication face-to-face to come to a point where we dont even have to use
our mouth and lips to bully someone anymore? We now have our fingers and mobile devices to
do it for us which has become really embarrassing for technology itself. Instead of helping to
minimize cyberbullying it is increasing the percentage day by day. I myself witnessed
Cyberbullying when a fellow classmate posted a picture on her account in which she said that the
other teen was ugly and obese. This later was know to the administrators at my school which
made the girl take down the picture with the rude comment in it.
Posting pictures to share with friends was the major function of Instagram. Although
thousands of pictures are being posted, do we really know if the person posting them is really the

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actual person they claim to be? I think we are facing these types of problems every single day,
anyone can post a picture of whatever they want to. Users have the privilege to make as many
accounts as they want which opens more risk for teens who dont know who they are actually
following. Those whom open many different accounts have a tendency to have a less social skill
when it comes to interacting with a person. By social skills I mean how a person communicates
with a group or one on one. These teens create a habit to take short cuts when sending a DM to
his or her friend by say, Hey r u coming to the party tonight or nah. As we can see the words
are shortened and not used proper. This shows how teens are changing the way they are losing
our traditional way of writing in the English language. I myself use Instagram and have noticed
that when type my essays for class I mess up and write with short words. This affects mostly all
users because we are expose to this when we use the app which causes us to lower our social
skills when it comes to communicate with another person face-to-face. We dont practice
interacting with one another any more because we have the ability to just send messages to
whom ever we want through Instagram.
Although Instagram has come to affect our way of communicating with one another, it
has helped us find a solution where we can communicate with long distances family and friends.
It makes it easier for us to get in touch with our family members for example, if you have a
cousin who doesnt live in the same country as you. You can easily just send him or her a DM
and get in contact within minutes. Instead of not getting a hold of him or her because they dont
have an Instagram. Having this privilege makes you still have a close bond with a family
member or friend. I use this app to communicate with my family in Guatemala which is a really
great method to use when trying to talk to them. Besides it is cheap for people to communicate
because all you need is internet. I use a calling card to communicate with my family in

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Guatemala. Instagram has facilitated the way I communicate with my family because I dont
need to by a calling card anymore.

Instagram was created 5 years ago and yet it has grown so rapidly among teens. It has
affected our way of communicating with one another by making it easier and faster to talk to
someone. This doesnt mean we communicate with each other the same way when we encounter
someone in person. Every time we follow someone we dont know that we are at risk of being
cyberbullied. We are diminishing our social skill. We should be careful when using the app
because there is cyberbullying present while using the app.

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Work Cited
"Access to Restricted Resources." Ed. David Isaacs. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 1
June 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
"Celebrating a Community of 400 Million." Instagram Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2015
Wendy, Abbott. Jessie, Donaghey. Joanna, Hare. Peta, Hopkins."An Instagram is worth a
thousand words: an industry panel and audience Q&A", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 30 Iss: 7,
pp.1 6. 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Nov.2015