Every day, propaganda and political opinions are spread throughout social media, which leads to many teenagers voicing their opinion about political conflicts. Although this can be beneficial, social media is an inefficient way of spreading unbiased information within politics.
Social media encourages teenagers to form their opinion off of unreliable sources, contributing to the disbursement of false political statements. When teenagers view a political issue continuously reposted on social media platforms, many unhesitatingly agree with the post, although it could be unreliable or opinionated. Nonetheless, social media resources such as Instagram and Twitter convince teens to view a political conflict in only one way: their way.
This results in many teenagers reposting misinformation and encouraging others to view only one side of a story or political position. A study conducted by The Daily Universe proves that “57% of people who rely on social media for news had low political knowledge and only 17% had high political knowledge.”
Many repost about political conflicts that they lack knowledge of to seek validation from other students and influencers, which in turn negatively impacts impressionable teenagers. This encourages teenagers to agree and stand for only one opinion due to people that they look up to having the same opinion.
While there are credible sources within social media, it is difficult to rely on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter as a resource for politics due to biased ideologies. Sources such as CNN, Wallstreet Journal, BBC, and New York Times are known for their credibility and can be relied upon but are rarely cited by the youth.
Furthermore, if one has a different view or way to look at a situation, they will be dismissed due to influencers and celebrities discouraging all viewpoints but their own. According to the Pew Research Center, “Social media platforms have been weaponized to spread made-up news and engender online harassment.”
This results in teens forming opinions off of biased information, which leads to the unwillingness to accept new ideas. Social media adversely affects young adults and teenagers due to the forced persuasion of unreliable sources, discouraging teens to be tolerant of new ideas or different opinions.