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Singapore Intercultural Schools

Social Benefits for the Young Generation

Written by Clea Princessa Justine
Secondary 2, SIS Palembang

A social life is dreamt by a huge portion of teenagers in this day and age. It is also such a controversial subject because while it can be a source of happiness, it is where stress towards teenagers come from, generally, at least. Say you have friends and quite the number of following on the current trending medias, your life wouldn’t be as hard as people who don’t. Why do I say this?

How do you think it would feel like sitting alone in lunch? How do you expect people who never necessarily have friends to go in front of class and talk about a matter they only know from words written on paper that they never got to discuss with anyone? It is the harsh truth, that anywhere we go, we are prone to social stress. Unless you adapt quickly, it is hard to find a group of people that really melts into you.

Therefore, I am going to spread my five reasons why it is important to have a social life for teenagers, including the shaping of who they are and what they can do as our country’s generation.

i. The Shape of A Teenager’s mind

All social activities a teenager does affects who they become in the future. The parents, relatives, teachers and friends they grow up with create their personalities. A teenager’s mind is formed during adolescence.

A social life is needed for teenagers. It lets them differentiate the right and the wrong and it allows them to give out opinions. This is very much essential to the making of a good teenage mind. Since they are very much fragile, any influence will be taken literally, so while having friends is important, they have to be reminded that a good attitude should be sought after, and a bad one should be left behind.

The phrase “Friends with Everyone” is very much true, since a human can’t stand alone in general. To think of it, even when we’re older, we have friends to turn to when we need them. Having a big variety of friends also allows them to be a lot more adaptable. The benefits are that teenagers could learn to judge-not in a bad way- different types of people that exists and they can become more likeable.

They also need the guidance of adults in their childhood to help mold them into someone polite and charismatic. Being polite doesn’t only attract people, it also makes teenagers seem easy to approach.

ii. Pots of Talent

Teenagers are growing pots of talent. They have wide minds and endless imagination, which is perfect for the flourishing skills they can offer to the world. Socializing is a perfect way to learn from other people who loves the same things they do.

Say you love music, learning notes by theory might not be the same with having a mentor tell you what song you are doing wrong or right. While there are people who prefer learning on their own, there is no deying that a big portion tend to like learning with someone else.

Not only is it easier to grasp the information needed from practice than by books, it enhances a teen’s social skills and understanding of people around them. Proven by the teaching theories such as the Experiencial Learning, doing something instead of only reading about the subject can modify someone’s behaviour.

We need to be able to ask people what we do not fully know about to understand the topic even more. Even though some people fall in social anxiety, we can prevent this from the early ages by letting them know that there is nothing wrong with asking someone something or merely just talking to them. There are many things to learn from the people around us, aren’t there?

iii. Preparation For A Bright Future

This leans towards the social networks side. The world is slowly but surely becoming more advanced than it already is now. These days, you don’t even need to go to the bank to transfer some money to another account, e-banking lets you do just that anytime and anywhere. You don’t even have to go the store to get your daily necessities, you have online shops for that.

As the world gets more and more advanced, the younger generation have to be aware of how to operate the systems. It will soon be the primary media for everything, and it will be led by our youths. Communication, education, work and business will all be controlled behind the screen.

There are many young artists, musicians or content creators out there who makes money at such an early age. As impossible as it seems, making videos can be watched by millions, writing music can let them be heard by the world and anything that teenagers think of doing realistically to make money can work if they put their all into it.

Now, what does real-life social skills have to do with this? Working online requires us to be able to attract others to our platform. The social media is filled by people of different ages and nationalities, so back to the second and third points, their skills to communicate with people needs to be whole in order to run any activities. Being polite is also, as mentioned in the first point, important to install their own image socially.

iv. Recreation

Teenagers are still growing, they are still unstable and they still can’t get a hold of themselves sometimes. A social life is usually where they run to when they need a clear mind. In this day and age, people around their age prefer to talk to each other with their gadgets, not outside where they can go for a walk. It might be excruciating for parents to open the room only finding their children playing with their gadgets.

While it is good to be able to use social networks as a source of recreation, it is also important to spare time in real life to talk to their family and friends instead of becoming anti-social. Their childhood life should have memories, not screenshots in their phones.

This is important because talking to anyone modifies their structure. They will have fun while, not realising it, being a better person. It is also one of the reasons why parents should allow teenagers to go out with their friends, though not excessively.

v. Social Networks as A Stepping Stone for Social Anxiety

This point leans towards the social networks more than the real life activities. A lot of the younger generation has a line to follow. The “You need to be a straight A student” lane and the “You need to be likable” paths are the most crossed ones. However, there are introverts around the world who feel like the second phrase doesn’t need to be remembered. We can’t actually expect them to get their minds out there and share their thoughts on the world in person.

A social network allows people with social anxiety or disorders such as the Asperger’s syndrome to talk and pour their creative minds out for other people to see. It is not a piece of cake to be able to talk to people in real life for people with social anxiety.

A social anxiety is generally a term for people who have difficulty interacting with strangers. The fear isn’t normal shyness, as it often causes panic attacks when required to spread their messages in public. It isn’t a small issue. Our networks can be a stepping stone for people who generally can’t run on their own. The internet has become a connection over the years, which let anyone say what they want to. It is an open global community where even though we don’t generally know someone, we are free to talk to them. People with social anxiety find difficulty talking to people they have never seen before, even claustrophobic in a closed room. It appears almost scary to them to even say hi.

The online activities give us space for air, for example while we are texting, where we are allowed time to think and reconsider our words. We can’t do this in real life, that is why it is much needed. How often to you realise that some people are generally different while texting?

A lot of people with disorders or anxiety has internet as their lifeline. However, this proves the negative impact of internet addiction being a symptom for social anxiety. This also affects their daily lifestyle since being brave in closed doors isn’t going to let you soar up the skies.

There are many benefits of social lives for teenagers, however, parents or guardians should still monitor their moves. The reason why, is that while it shapes a teen positively, it can give negative impacts to them as well. Having an open social life can lead teenagers to the wrong paths, such as the one that leads to drugs and intercourse, so adults should still know who their teenager is associated with.

Those, in my opinion, are the leading reasons why teenagers should have a social life.